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Health Professionals BlogImmunosuppressionLiver Transplantation

Impact of early immunosuppression on pediatric liver transplant outcomes within 1 year

Title: Impact of early immunosuppression on pediatric liver transplant outcomes within 1 year

Source: Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 2024, 78 (2): 328-338

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Date of publication: February 2024

Publication type: Article

Abstract: Objectives: The Starzl Network for Excellence in Pediatric Transplantation identified optimizing immunosuppression (IS) as a priority practice improvement area for patients, families, and providers. We aimed to evaluate associations between clinical characteristics, early IS, and outcomes.

Methods: We analyzed pediatric liver transplant (LT) data from 2013 to 2018 in the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and the Society of Pediatric Liver Transplantation (SPLIT) registries.

Results: We included 2542 LT recipients in UNOS and 1590 in SPLIT. IS choice varied between centers with steroid induction and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) use each ranging from 0% to 100% across centers. Clinical characteristics associated with early IS choice were inconsistent between the two data sets. T-cell depleting antibody use was associated with improved 1-year graft (hazard ratio [HR] 0.50, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.34-0.76) and patient (HR 0.40, 95% CI 0.20-0.79) survival in UNOS but decreased 1-year patient survival (HR 4.12, 95% CI 1.31-12.93) and increased acute rejection (HR 1.58, 95% CI 1.07-2.34) in SPLIT. Non-T-cell depleting antibody use was not associated with differential risk of survival nor rejection. MMF use was associated with improved 1-year graft survival (HR 0.73, 95% CI 0.54-0.99) in UNOS only.

Conclusions: Variation exists in center choice of early IS regimen. UNOS and SPLIT data provide conflicting associations between IS and outcomes in multivariable analysis. These results highlight the need for future multicenter collaborative work to identify evidence-based IS best practices.

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