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Liver transplantation in children with Alagille syndrome: Indications and outcome


Rainer Ganschow, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Martinistraße 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany
Tel.: 0049 40 42803 9976
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Abstract:  An AGS is a dominant inherited multisystem disorder caused by mutations in the Notch signaling pathway (JAG1). In our center, 5.3% of liver transplantations (OLT) are performed in children with AGS. Some of the affected children fulfilled criteria for OLT, despite the absence of liver cirrhosis. The aim of our present study was to evaluate the indications and outcome for OLT in children with this complex disorder as clear criteria are difficult to establish in clinical practice. A total of 37 patients were included in a retrospective analysis. Twenty-four children underwent OLT for chronic end-stage liver failure (n = 8) or symptomatic liver disease (n = 16). Patient survival post-OLT was 91.7% after 1 yr, that of graft survival was 87.5%, respectively. Significant post-transplant vascular complications included a mid-aortic syndrome (n = 1) and severe lethal bleeding due to suspected vascular malformation (n = 1). Severe hypercholesterolemia (>800 mg/dL) and xanthomata resolved completely in affected patients. We conclude from our data that indications for OLT in AGS should be extended to patients with severe symptomatic liver disease, even in the absence of liver cirrhosis because of the significantly improved outcome after pediatric OLT in the last decade. Future studies must identify underlying mechanisms of hypercholesterolemia and vascular malformation.

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