Liver Transplantation in Children with Cystic Fibrosis: Experience in our Centre and Preliminary Results with a Combined En Bloc Liver-Pancreas Graft
16 May 2011
21 September 2011
07 December 2011 (online)
Aim of the study Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a multisystemic disease, with some patients developing end-stage liver disease (ESLD), requiring liver transplantation (LT). These children usually present with severe mutations of the CFTR gene. Almost 100% of patients with severe mutations develop exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, leading later to endocrine insufficiency. Immunosuppression accelerates the development of insulin-dependent diabetes (IDD) in transplanted children with CF. Our aims were: 1) to analyze our experience with CF-related ESLD children who received LT, and the relationship to the development of IDD; 2) to report our preliminary results with en bloc liver-pancreas transplantation (CLPT).
Methods 9 children (6M/3F) with CF and ESLD underwent LT between 1993 and 2010; median age and weight were 12.3 years (range: 5.4–17.0) and 36.7 kg (range: 14.2–58.5), respectively. 4 patients received a whole graft, 4 had reduced grafts (1 split) and 1 underwent CLPT. Immunosuppression followed the protocols at the time of transplantation.
Results Liver function was restored in all patients and none of them needed re-transplantation. Median follow-up was 105 months (range: 4–206). 1 child died of respiratory failure at 23 months after transplantation while awaiting pulmonary transplantation. Survival (Kaplan-Meier) at 105 months was 87.5%. 4 children already had IDD before transplantation and 3 developed diabetes immediately after transplantation. 2 had not developed IDD at the end of the study: the youngest at the time of LT (5.4 years, follow-up 7.1 years) and the girl who had had CLPT and who recovered normal exocrine and endocrine pancreatic function after transplantation.
Conclusions LT is a realistic option to treat CF-related ESLD children. IDD is common in these patients. En bloc liver-pancreas transplantation is an appealing option, since it simultaneously restores exocrine function and prevents IDD. This procedure has clear technical advantages over simultaneous isolated liver and pancreas transplantation.
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