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Health Professionals BlogLiver Transplantation

Advances in pediatric liver transplantation from the pediatric surgeon’s perspective

Title: Advances in pediatric liver transplantation from the pediatric surgeon’s perspective 

Source: Pediatric Surgery International 2023, August 25. [Epublication]  

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Date of publication: August 2023  

Publication type: Review article 

Abstract: Pediatric liver transplantation is a lifesaving state-of-the-art operation for children with various liver diseases, including cholestatic diseases, metabolic disorders, acute liver failure, and primary malignant liver tumors. Among these indications, transplantation for biliary atresia and hepatoblastoma is discussed in this review because pediatric surgeons are usually involved in their initial treatments. For biliary atresia, pediatric surgeons are advised to keep dissection of the hilar structures to a minimum during Kasai portoenterostomy in order to make total hepatectomy easier at transplantation. Early referral to a transplant team is recommended when worrisome signs of liver dysfunction, cirrhosis, portal hypertension and growth retardation are noted. Hepatoblastoma with multiplicity or located close to major vessels may indicate unresectability, and the transplant team needs to be consulted early after neoadjuvant chemotherapy is started. The graft size, including its thickness, needs to be evaluated before transplantation for small children, as tailoring the shape of the partial graft may be necessary during the transplant procedure.

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