Purpose: The aim of this study was to analyze factors impacting on the survival of pediatric patients with intestinal failure referred for intestinal transplantation (ITx).
Methods: Two hundred fifty-seven children (mean age, 3.4+/-0.26 years) with intestinal failure were evaluated for ITx between 1990 and 1998. All patients were dependent on total parenteral nutrition (TPN) for a mean of 31+/-2.7 months. The mean follow-up time from the date of evaluation was 9.2+/-0.9 months.
Results: Eighty-two (32%) children underwent ITx with a mean waiting time of 10.1+/-1.3 months (simultaneous liver-intestinal allograft in 68% instances). Of the 175 patients who did not undergo transplantation, 120 died, 23 were lost to follow-up, and 32 are alive. Younger patients (< or =1 year) had poorer survival rates than patients older than 1 year (P<.0001). The patients with the worse prognosis were those with necrotizing enterocolitis, and those with the best prognosis were those with Hirschsprung's disease. Patients with "surgical" causes had poorer survival rates than those with "nonsurgical" causes (P<.04). Patients with bridging fibrosis or established cirrhosis had an earlier mortality than patients with portal fibrosis (P<.003). The worst survival rate was found for patients with bilirubin levels of greater than 3 mg/dL (P<.0001), plateletcounts less than 100.000/mL (P<.0001), prothrombin time greater than 15 seconds (P = .03) or partial thromboplastin time greater than 40 seconds (P<.04). Children who at the time of evaluation needed only an isolated intestinal allograft had a better prognosis than those who required a combined liver-intestine allograft (P<.00001). With multivariate analysis independent prognosis risk factors of poor outcome were hyperbilirubinemia and severity of histopathologic damage.
Conclusions: Early referral for ITx should occur before the development of liver dysfunction, taking into consideration the aforementioned risk factors that would facilitate the development and ominous evolution to liver failure.