“Big Improvements for Smallest Recipients” with Bad Liver Disease

A recent study (M Kasahara et al. Liver Transplantation 2017; 23: 1051-7, editorial 977-8) indicates improvement in survival among the smallest liver transplant patients. In this study of 12 patients less than 3 months of age, the cumulative 10-year patient and graft survival for both was 90.9%.

These patients received living donor liver transplantation. Living donors likely contributed to the excellent outcomes both in terms of enhancing the timing of transplantation and also with regard to size.  Whole organs are not likely to fit well in these small abdomens. The size of the patients ranged from 2.8 kg (at 29 days) to 5.5 kg).  11 of 12 had fulminant hepatic failure with 6 of these cases being considered unknown etiology.

Limitation: This was a very small sample size.