The use of split-liver (SL) allografts continues to be an excellent option for many pediatric recipients. Patient and graft survival with this graft type are comparable to patient and graft survival with whole organ grafts. Quality-of-life issues, specifically growth, for SL recipients have not been compared to those of recipients of more conventional whole-organ recipients. Pediatric recipients of SL and whole allografts at 2 institutions were identified. Height, z score, and delta z score were calculated for all recipients for each year after transplant. Between 1995 and 2004, 201 pediatric liver transplants were analyzed. Data were collected on 39 split-graft recipients and 36 whole-size recipients. Only subjects 3 years or younger were included in the study. Growth retardation was present in all recipients at transplant. Height z score post split and whole-size transplant were not statistically different at 1- (P = 0.65), 2- (P = 0.13), and 3-year (P = 0.32) anniversaries, respectively. Catch-up growth was present only in recipients of split grafts. In conclusion, the use of split grafts as opposed to whole-size grafts revealed no significant differences in terms of linear growth. Our report indicates that split-liver transplantation does not impair recipient growth.
(c) 2006 AASLD.