Fibrosis Risk High in Kids With Transplanted Livers

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Most children who received liver transplants developed mild fibrosis or cirrhosis within 10 years of undergoing the procedure, a researcher has said.

At 10-year biopsy, 68 (23%) of the 300 transplant recipients had normal or near normal histology, 142 (47%) had periportal or central fibrosis without bridging, 61 (20%) had bridging fibrosis, and 29 (10%) had cirrhosis, according to Jeremy Rajanayagam, MBBS, of the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.

While the grafts usually last 20 years, patients who develop cirrhosis are at risk of liver failure and graft loss, they explained in a presentation at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases annual meeting.
And fibrosis is being found more and more often in these patients even if they still have normal liver function tests, Rajanayagam reported.

“Pediatric [liver] transplantation has remarkably improved the outcome of children with liver disease to have greater than 20-year survival,” he told MedPage Today. But “histological abnormalities, including graft fibrosis, are being increasingly recognized by protocol biopsies in these recipients, even though they have normal liver function tests. So what we aimed to do in this study is to try and understand what the implications are in the long term of graft fibrosis in protocol biopsies.”

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