Published online Jan 27, 2018. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v10.i1.62
Peer-review started: October 26, 2017
First decision: December 1, 2017
Revised: December 20, 2017
Accepted: December 29, 2017
Article in press: December 29, 2017
Published online: January 27, 2018
To determine potentially modifiable predictors of early outcomes after liver transplantation in children of age < 3 years.
This study was a retrospective chart review including all consecutive children of age less than 3-years-old having had a liver transplant done at the Western Canadian referral center from June 2005 to June 2015. Pre-specified potential predictor variables and primary and secondary outcomes were recorded using standard definitions and a case report form. Associations between potential predictor variables and outcomes were determined using univariate and multiple logistic [odds ratio (OR); 95%CI] or linear (effect size, ES; 95%CI) regressions.
There were 65 children, of mean age 11.9 (SD 7.1) mo and weight 8.5 (2.1) kg, with biliary-atresia in 40 (62%), who had a living related donor [LRD; 29 (45%)], split/reduced [21 (32%)] or whole liver graft [15 (23%)]. Outcomes after liver transplant included: ventilator-days of 12.5 (14.1); pediatric intensive care unit mortality of 5 (8%); re-operation in 33 (51%), hepatic artery thrombosis (HAT) in 12 (19%), portal vein thrombosis (PVT) in 11 (17%), and any severe complication (HAT, PVT, bile leak, bowel perforation, intraabdominal infection, retransplant, or death) in 32 (49%) patients. Predictors of the prespecified primary outcomes on multiple regression were: (1) HAT: split/reduced (OR 0.06; 0.01, 0.76; P = 0.030) or LRD (OR 0.16; 0.03, 0.95; P = 0.044) vs whole liver graft; and (2) ventilator-days: surgeon (P < 0.05), lowest antithrombin (AT) postoperative day 2-5 (ES -0.24; -0.47, -0.02; P = 0.034), and split/reduced (ES -12.5; -21.8, -3.2; P = 0.009) vs whole-liver graft. Predictors of the pre-specified secondary outcomes on multiple regression were: (1) any thrombosis: LRD (OR 0.10; 0.01, 0.71; P = 0.021) or split/reduced (OR 0.10; 0.01, 0.85; P = 0.034) vs whole liver graft, and lowest AT postoperative day 2-5 (OR 0.93; 0.87, 0.99; P = 0.038); and (2) any severe complication: surgeon (P < 0.05), lowest AT postoperative day 2-5 (OR 0.92; 0.86-0.98; P = 0.016), and split/reduced (OR 0.06; 0.01, 0.78; P = 0.032) vs whole-liver graft.
In young children, whole liver graft and surgeon was associated with more complications, and higher AT postoperative day 2-5 was associated with fewer complications early after liver transplantation.
Core tip: In a retrospective review of 65 consecutive children having had liver transplant at age less than 3-year-old, done at a single referral institution, earlier post-operative complications were independently statistically associated with whole liver graft (compared to split/reduced or living related graft), surgeon, and lower antithrombin levels day 2-5 postoperatively. The finding that lower antithrombin levels were associated with any thrombosis, any severe complication, and ventilator days is a novel finding that should be confirmed by others.