Study shows lifetime effects of pediatric liver transplants

March 26, 2008

Parents of pediatric liver transplant recipients report lower health-related quality of life for their children two years after the surgery, compared to reports from the parents of healthy children. However, reports of family dysfunction fall within the normal range. These findings are published in the April issue of Liver Transplantation.

Children account for up to 15 percent of liver transplant recipients each year in the U.S. Their 10-year survival rate is nearly 80 percent, however, survival is not the only outcome of interest. Liver transplantation has long-term implications for a child’s health related quality of life (HRQOL), which includes physical health, mental health, social functioning, role functioning and general health perceptions.

Previous studies have attempted to measure the HRQOL of pediatric liver transplant recipients, but have been limited to single centers and have yielded mixed results. Researchers from the Studies of Pediatric Liver Transplantation (SPLIT) consortium, led by Estella Alonso of Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, decided to conduct a multi-center analysis of HRQOL and family function for these young patients.

They included 102 pediatric liver transplant recipients from five centers in the United States. Sixty-seven were under 5 years old, while 35 were between 5 and 18 years of age. At about 2 years post transplant, the researchers asked the children’s parents to complete a questionnaire about their child’s quality of life, along with the Family Assessment Devise (FAD), assessing family function. They then compared the data to either a control population or a published healthy normative population.

On measures of HRQOL, the younger transplant recipients scored significantly lower in global health, general health perceptions and change in health, compared to the children in the control group. The older children scored significantly lower in physical health, general health, parental emotional impact, and disruption of family activities.

Interestingly, however, the mean scores of the FAD scales indicated no increase in family dysfunction. Twenty-five percent of the transplant families were within the unhealthy range, compared to 19 to 36 percent of non-clinical families reported in FAD validation studies.

“Future assessments of HRQOL in this population should include the perspective of the patient and both of their parents to yield the fullest understanding of their health status and adjustment to post-transplant medical care,” the authors conclude.

Source: Blackwell Publishing

Explore further: First patient cured of rare blood disorder

Related Stories

First patient cured of rare blood disorder

March 20, 2017

Using a technique that avoids the use of high-dose chemotherapy and radiation in preparation for a stem cell transplant, physicians at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System have documented the first ...

Immune cell drives heart failure in mice

March 16, 2017

A new study in mice reveals that eosinophils, a type of disease-fighting white blood cell, appear to be at least partly responsible for the progression of heart muscle inflammation to heart failure in mice.

New method rescues donor organs to save lives

March 6, 2017

A multidisciplinary team led by Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Mikati Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Sciences at Columbia Engineering, and Matt Bacchetta, associate professor of surgery at Columbia ...

Organ transplants, deceased donors set record in 2016

January 12, 2017

Organ transplants performed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and across the United States in 2016 reached record highs, according to preliminary data from UAB and the United Network for Organ Sharing.

Researchers discover cancer treatment for transplant patients

January 18, 2017

Kenar D. Jhaveri, MD, and Richard Barnett, MD, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research scientists and Northwell Health Department of Internal Medicine nephrologists, published a Letter to the Editor in the prestigious New ...

Recommended for you

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017

(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Study shows blood products unaffected by drone trips

December 7, 2016

In what is believed to be the first proof-of-concept study of its kind, Johns Hopkins researchers have determined that large bags of blood products, such as those transfused into patients every day, can maintain temperature ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.