Background: Mild liver dysfunction is common after prolonged use of parenteral nutrition (PN), but end-stage liver failure occurs only rarely. Few treatment options other than combined liver-intestine transplantation exist for patients with liver failure associated with PN use, however. Herein, we report the results of a cohort of patients undergoing isolated orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) for PN-associated liver injury.
Methods: A retrospective cohort study of 80 patients (73 pediatric patients and 7 adults) who have undergone isolated OLT for PN-associated liver injury as the primary indication for transplantation was performed.
Results: At the time of OLT, the mean total serum bilirubin was 19.5 mg/dL and the mean serum albumin level was 2.9 mg/dL. Severe hepatic encephalopathy was seen in 5%, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis was seen in 6.3%, and respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation was seen in 14% of patients at the time of OLT. Overall 1- and 5-year survival rates were 72% and 52%, respectively, with infection being the most common cause of death after OLT. Retransplantation was required in 25% of patients, and the 5-year posttransplant patient survival rate only reached 35% in these cases.
Conclusions: Patients with end-stage liver disease associated with PN administration often have very severe liver disease, multiple comorbidities, and poor prognosis by the time they are listed for OLT. Nonetheless, isolated OLT is associated with good long-term survival and should be considered for selected patients with combined intestine-liver failure.