Risk factors for chronic rejection after pediatric liver transplantation

Transplantation. 2001 Sep 27;72(6):1098-102. doi: 10.1097/00007890-200109270-00020.


Background: Chronic rejection is a major cause of graft failure and a frequent reason for retransplantation after pediatric liver transplantation. Identification of risk factors for chronic rejection in pediatric transplant recipients is vital to understanding the pathogenesis of chronic rejection and may help prevent further graft loss.

Methods: The study population consisted of 285 children with 385 liver transplants performed at University of Chicago between 1991 and 1999. Logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate risk factors for chronic rejection, including age, sex, race, type of graft (living related vs. cadaveric), native liver disease, acute rejection episodes, cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, and posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD).

Results: The chronic rejection rate was significantly lower in recipients of living-related grafts than in recipients of cadaveric grafts (4% vs. 16%, P=0.001). African-American recipients had a significantly higher rate of chronic rejection than did Caucasian recipients (26% vs. 8%, P<0.001). Numbers of acute rejection episodes, transplantation for autoimmune disease, occurrence of PTLD, and CMV infection were also significant risk factors for chronic rejection. However, recipient age, gender, donor-recipient gender mismatch, and donor-recipient ethnicity mismatch were not associated with higher incidence of chronic rejection

Conclusion: We have identified a number of risk factors for chronic rejection in a large group of pediatric liver allograft recipients. We believe that donor-recipient matching for gender or race is not likely to reduce the incidence of chronic rejection. The elucidation of the mechanisms by which living-related liver transplantation affords protection against chronic rejection may provide insight into the immunogenetics of chronic rejection and help prevent further graft loss.

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases / surgery
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • Cadaver
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / complications
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / etiology
  • Female
  • Graft Rejection / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression Therapy / adverse effects
  • Liver Diseases / surgery
  • Liver Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Living Donors
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / complications
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / etiology
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • White People / statistics & numerical data