End-stage liver disease affects nearly 300 children annually in the United States. Based upon the annual birth rate in the United States of 3.1 million, the incidence of the most prominent causes of liver disease in children (biliary atresia, α1-antitrypsin deficiency, Wilson's disease, and neonatal hepatitis), and the frequency of end-stage liver disease in each disorder. Liver transplantation now offers these children at least a 65%, and in some series as high as 85%, chance of surviving at least 2 years postoperatively. Much of this improvement is attributable to advances in immunosuppression. However, one must not underestimate the importance of the tremendous knowledge that has been gained in the care of a large number of these patients over the last decade. The major barriers standing in the way of wider application of liver transplantation include the reluctance of primary care physicians to refer patients for early consideration, the growing crisis in the availability of donor organs, and the lack of adequate numbers of centers involved in performing adequate numbers of procedures. The major hurdles to overcome in order to affect further improvements in results include more specific immunosuppression, more accurate means of diagnosing rejection, better techniques of organ preservation, and further optimization of the care of both candidates preoperatively and recipients after transplantation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1 1988|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health