Background: Congenital biliary atresia is a rare condition characterized by idiopathic dysgenesis of the bile ducts. If untreated, congenital biliary atresia leads to liver cirrhosis, liver failure and premature death. The present study aimed to evaluate the outcomes of orthotopic liver transplantation in children with biliary atresia.
Method: We retrospectively analyzed 45 patients with biliary atresia who had undergone orthotopic liver transplantation from September 2006 to August 2012.
Results: The median age of the patients was 11.0 months (5-102). Of the 45 patients, 41 were younger than 3 years old. Their median weight was 9.0 kg (4.5-29.0), 34 of the 45 patients were less than 10 kg. Thirty-one patients had undergone Kasai portoenterostomy prior to orthotopic liver transplantation. We performed 30 living donor liver transplants and 15 split liver transplants. Six patients died during a follow-up. The median follow-up time of surviving patients was 11.4 months (1.4-73.7). The overall 1-, 2- and 3-year survival rates were 88.9%, 84.4% and 84.4%, respectively.
Conclusion: With advances in surgical techniques and management, children with biliary atresia after liver transplantation can achieve satisfactory survival in China, although there remains a high risk of complications in the early postoperative period.