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Evaluation of vitamin D levels in children with liver transplant

Title: Evaluation of vitamin D levels in children with liver transplant

Source: Experimental and Clinical Transplantation 2023, July 12. [E-publication]

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Date of publication: July 2023

Publication type: Article

Abstract: Objectives: Vitamin D deficiency is common in pediatric chronic liver disease despite oral replacement. We evaluated vitamin D deficiency before and after liver transplant and the relationship between posttransplant and pretransplant vitamin D deficiency and graft rejection.

Materials and methods: Pediatric recipients with chronic liver disease (N =138) were divided into 4 groups: cholestatic liver diseases, cirrhosis, metabolic disorders, and acute liver failure. Pretransplant and posttransplant vitamin D levels, liver function tests, Pediatric End-Stage Liver Disease scores, rejection activity index scores by graft liver biopsy, and posttransplant patient survival were recorded.

Results: There were 62 (45%) female and 76 (55%) male participants (mean transplant age, 6.1 ± 5.6 years). Pretransplant mean available vitamin D of 90 patients was 25.2 ± 20.9 ng/mL, with 36 (40%) within reference range. Posttransplant level for 109 patients was 27.3 ± 18 ng/mL, with 64 (58.7%) within reference range. Pretransplant and posttransplant levels were available for 61 patients, and mean pretransplant levels were lower than posttransplant levels (23.7 ± 19.3 vs 28.3 ± 16.9 ng/mL; P = .01). Patients with cholestatic liver disease had lower pretransplant vitamin D levels (P = .04), which disappeared after transplant. Pretransplant vitamin D levels were positively correlated with serum albumin levels (r = 0.20) in all patients and negatively correlated with total/direct bilirubin (r = 0.29 and r = -0.30) in those with liver diseases and cirrhosis. No correlations were found between pretransplant vitamin D levels and Pediatric End-Stage Liver Disease scores, rejection activity index scores, and posttransplant mortality.

Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in pediatric chronic liver disease before and after transplant, especially for cholestatic liver diseases. However, no association between vitamin D levels and liver graft rejection or patient survival was noted. We recommend close monitoring and individualized vitamin D supplementation before and after liver transplant.

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