Paediatric acute liver failure and transplantation: the University of Essen experience.

S. Nadalin*, M. Heuer, M. Wallot, M. Auth, R. Schaffer, G.C. Sotiropoulos, A. Ballauf, M.A. van den Broek, S. Olde Damink, P.F. Hoyer, C.E. Broelsch, M. Malago

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


To report our experience with 17 children who underwent a liver transplantation (LT) for acute liver failure (ALF). All LT procedures (deceased and living donor) were offered. Since 2003 Molecular Adsorbents Recycling System (MARS) was proposed as bridging procedure. We monitored the perioperative course and the short- and long-term outcomes. All children developed pretransplant hepatic encephalopathy (mostly grades II and III); six needed ventilator support and three haemodialysis. Median PELD/MELD score was 30. MARS was used in five children with poor pretransplant prognostic factors: all five survived the LT without sequelae. We performed 13 deceased donor LT (seven whole, five split and onr reduced) and four left lateral LDLT. Postoperative complications were observed in 10 children, requiring re-operation in seven. Two children developed irreversible neurological disorders. After a median follow up of 45 months, 16 children are still alive. About 1- and 5-year cumulative patient survival rates are 94% with a corresponding graft survival of 88% and 81%, respectively. The combination of experienced paediatric ICU management, the application of new liver support devices, and the capacity to offer both living and deceased donor transplant alternatives in a timely fashion represent the best formula to achieve optimal results in children with ALF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-527
JournalTransplant International
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

Cite this