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The effect of donor graft type on survival after liver transplantation for hepatoblastoma in children

Title: The effect of donor graft type on survival after liver transplantation for hepatoblastoma in children

Source: Pediatric Transplantation 2023, Nov 9. [E-publication]

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Date of publication: November 2023

Publication type: Article

Abstract: Background: Liver transplantation (LT) is the only potentially curative option for children with unresectable hepatoblastoma (HBL). Although post-transplant outcomes have improved in the contemporary era, the impact of donor graft type on survival remains unclear.

Methods: Using the United Network for Organ Sharing database (02/2002-06/2021), demographics, clinical characteristics, and patient and graft survival were analyzed in children (<18 years) who underwent LT for HBL according to donor graft type. The Kaplan-Meier method, log-rank tests, and Cox regression modeling were used to evaluate the effect of whole, partial, and split deceased donor liver transplantation (DDLT) and living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) on patient and graft survival.

Results: A total of 590 pediatric HBL LT recipients (344 whole graft DDLT; 62 partial graft DDLT; 139 split graft DDLT; 45 LDLT) were included. During 2012-2021 the proportion of LDLTs for HBL decreased to about 5% compared with about 11% during 2002-2011. No significant differences were identified by donor graft type in either patient survival (log-rank test, p = .45) or graft survival (log-rank test, p = .69). The results remained similar during the 2002-2011 era, while during the 2012-2021 era, split graft DDLT was associated with decreased graft loss risk versus whole graft DDLT (hazard ratio: 0.48, 95% confidence interval: 0.23-0.99, p = .046) without any other significant between-group differences.

Conclusions: Utilizing non-whole liver grafts can increase access to LT in children with unresectable HBL while ensuring favorable outcomes. LDLT is underutilized in children with HBL in the United States, and efforts to explore LDLT options should be undertaken.

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