Living Donor Liver Transplant Center Volume Influences Waiting List Survival Among Children Listed for Liver Transplantation

Transplantation. 2022 Sep 1;106(9):1807-1813. doi: 10.1097/TP.0000000000004173. Epub 2022 May 17.


Background: Pediatric living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) remains infrequently performed in the United States and localized to a few centers. This study aimed to compare pediatric waiting list and posttransplant outcomes by LDLT center volume.

Methods: The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients/Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network database was retrospectively reviewed for all pediatric (age <18 y) liver transplant candidates listed between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2019. The average annual number of LDLT, deceased donor partial liver transplant (DDPLT), and overall (ie, LDLT + DDPLT + whole liver transplants) pediatric liver transplants performed by each transplant center during the study period was calculated.

Results: Of 88 transplant centers, only 44 (50%) performed at least 1 pediatric LDLT during the study period. LDLT, DDPLT, and overall transplant center volume were all positively correlated. LDLT center volume was protective against waiting list dropout after adjusting for confounding variables (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.92; 95% confidence interval, 0.86-0.97; P = 0.004), whereas DDPLT and overall center volume were not ( P > 0.05); however, DDPLT center volume was significantly protective against both recipient death and graft loss, whereas overall volume was only protective against graft loss and LDLT volume was not protective for either.

Conclusions: High-volume pediatric LDLT center can improve waiting list survival, whereas DDPLT and overall volume are associated with posttransplant survival. Expertise in all types of pediatric liver transplant options is important to optimize outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Living Donors
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Waiting Lists