Liver transplantation in children: Experience with the development of an Australian pilot programme. The Queensland Liver Transplantation Programme

Shepherd, R. W., Powell, L. W., & Cleghorn, G. J. (1986) Liver transplantation in children: Experience with the development of an Australian pilot programme. The Queensland Liver Transplantation Programme. Australian Paediatric Journal, 22(3), pp. 181-184.

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Children with end-stage liver disease now form a major sub-group of patients considered suitable for liver transplantation (ltp), and enjoy better survival statistics after transplantation than do adults. Since June 1984, a paediatric ltp programme has been developed in Brisbane with an initial working relationship and ongoing close links with two USA centres (Pittsburgh, and the UCLA Medical Center).

Fourteen children with end-stage liver disease have been referred to the Queensland Liver Transplantation Programme for formal assessment. Following frank, informed discussion with their parents, 10 of these children were offered the option of ltp. During the transition stage, two infants with biliary atresia were referred to UCLA at their parents' request and, subsequently, eight children aged from 9 months to 6 years have been placed on a transplant candidacy list in Brisbane. A donor procurement team with access to a Queensland Government jet has been available to cover all mainland States except Western Australia. Six of the children have now had orthotopic ltp (two children at the UCLA Medical Center; four children at the Royal Children's Hospital, Brisbane). One UCLA patient died with a non-functioning graft, and one Brisbane patient died 5 weeks post-transplant with rejection, hepatic artery thrombosis and sepsis. The other four children are alive and well, three with normal liver function and one with unexplained intrahepatic cholestasis, during the 1-20 month follow-up to date. Three further children have died of their liver disease without a donor of an appropriate blood group and size being found, and one patient still awaits a suitable donor.

The experience of these authors suggests that ltp is a major advance in the treatment of paediatric liver disease, and that the procedure can be carried out successfully in Australia with initial results comparable with leading overseas centres. The procedure requires the full array of services of a major paediatric tertiary care facility, an intensive team effort with awareness of the special needs of children, and a widespread procurement capability. A major problem for Australia is the procurement of sufficient numbers of optimal paediatric donor livers.

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ID Code: 90922
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Keywords: child, clinical article, diagnosis, human, liver, liver failure, liver transplantation, organ transplantation, priority journal, therapy, Australia, Biliary Atresia, Child, Preschool, Female, Infant, Male, Organ Procurement, Pilot Projects, Postoperative Complications, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.1986.tb00219.x
ISSN: 0004-993X
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Deposited On: 02 Dec 2015 00:31
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2015 00:33

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