Half of adult liver transplantation (LT) recipients develop metabolic syndrome, but the prevalence after childhood LT remains unknown. We conducted a national cross-sectional study of all living patients who had undergone LT between 1987 and 2007 at an age less than 18 years. We gathered information on blood pressure, body composition, serum lipids, glucose metabolism, and histological liver fat content. The diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome of the American Heart Association and the International Diabetes Federation were used. After a median post-LT follow-up time of 12 years, half of all patients had no components of metabolic syndrome. The prevalence of overweight/obesity was 20%, and the prevalence of hypertension was 24%. Serum triglycerides were high in 9%, and high-density lipoprotein levels were low in 23%. Fasting glucose levels were impaired in 14%, but none had diabetes. Altogether, 9 patients (14%) had metabolic syndrome. Moderate liver steatosis found in protocol liver biopsy samples was associated with the accumulation of metabolic syndrome features (P = 0.01). No significant associations were found between immunosuppressive medications and metabolic syndrome. In conclusion, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome after childhood LT is similar to the prevalence in the general population of the same age. Guidelines for the general population, therefore, seem valid for the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome after pediatric LT as well.
© 2014 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.