Objective: To assess the results of paediatric liver transplantation in our institution.
Methods: From September 1993 to November 1996, 10 living-related liver transplants (LRLT) and 3 reduced-size liver transplants (RSLT) were performed on 12 children at our hospital. The medical records of the patients were reviewed. All patients suffered from end-stage liver disease resulting from biliary atresia with failed Kasai's operations. Their ages at initial transplantation ranged from 8 months to 11 years. Excluding the 2 older children aged 7.5 and 11 years, the remaining patients were aged 10.5 months on the average and weighed 6 to 9.5 kg (mean: 6.8 kg) at the time of initial transplantation.
Results: All living donors were discharged on postoperative day 4 to 8 and resumed their previous normal activities. All recipients were alive with normal liver function and growing after a follow-up period of 3-40 months (mean: 21 months). The patient survival rate was 100%. One patient with RSLT had hepatitis of undetermined aetiology and underwent retransplant with a graft from her mother. The graft survival rate was 92%. Postoperative complications included: postoperative bleeding (n = 3), hepatic vein stenosis (n = I), biliary-enteric anastomotic stenosis (n = 3), intestinal perforation (n = I) and portal vein thrombosis (n = I). They were all treated promptly. In all patients, the hepatic artery (diameter ranged from 1.5 to 2.5 mm) anastomosis was achieved by microvascular technique. There was no hepatic artery thrombosis in our patients.
Conclusion: With technical refinements, early detection and prompt treatment of complications, and advances in immunotherapy, excellent results can be achieved in paediatric liver transplantation.