Liver transplantation in children with cystic fibrosis: a long-term longitudinal review of a single center's experience

J Pediatr Surg. 2003 Aug;38(8):1152-6. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3468(03)00260-4.


Background: Improved long-term survival in cystic fibrosis (CF) has led to an increased incidence of extrapulmonary complications of this disease. Of these, end-stage liver disease is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality with liver transplantation being the only effective therapy.

Methods: Records of all CF pediatric liver transplant recipients were reviewed.

Results: Twelve children with CF were the recipients of 16 allografts. The 1- and 5-year survival was 91.6% and 75%, respectively. There were 5 deaths at a mean interval of 6.8 +/- 6.3 years. All of these deaths were related to pulmonary disease. Pulmonary function improved or remained stable in 8 of 9 patients tested. Despite an 83% incidence of positive sputum cultures, there was only one early mortality related to pulmonary sepsis in the setting of primary liver allograft nonfunction.

Conclusions: Liver transplantation is acceptable treatment for children with CF and end-stage liver disease. Long-term survival is comparable to liver transplantation performed for other indications. Although posttransplant morbidity and mortality is related to lung disease, the authors speculate that as therapeutic improvements prolong the survival in CF, it is expected that longer survival after liver transplantation in this patient population may also be anticipated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Failure / etiology
  • Liver Failure / mortality
  • Liver Failure / surgery*
  • Liver Transplantation* / mortality
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Reoperation
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sputum / microbiology
  • Survival Analysis