SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease;
  • congenital hepatic fibrosis;
  • Caroli disease/syndrome;
  • kidney transplant;
  • liver transplant;
  • portal hypertension;
  • ascending cholangitis;
  • end-stage renal disease

Abstract

Improved neonatal medical care and renal replacement technology have improved the long-term survival of patients with ARPKD. Ten-yr survival of those surviving the first year of life is reported to be 82% and is continuing to improve further. However, despite increases in overall survival and improved treatment of systemic hypertension and other complications of their renal disease, nearly 50% of survivors will develop ESRD within the first decade of life. In addition to renal pathology, patients with ARPKD develop ductal plate malformations with cystic dilation of intra- and extrahepatic bile ducts resulting in CHF and Caroli syndrome. Many patients with CHF will develop portal hypertension with resulting esophageal varices, splenomegaly, hypersplenism, protein losing enteropathy, and gastrointestinal bleeding. Management of portal hypertension may require EBL of esophageal varices or porto-systemic shunting. Complications of hepatic involvement can include ascending cholangitis, cholestasis with malabsorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and rarely benign or malignant liver tumors. Patients with ARPKD who eventually reach ESRD, and ultimately require kidney transplantation, present a unique set of complications related to their underlying hepato-biliary disease. In this review, we focus on new approaches to these challenging patients, including the indications for liver transplantation in ARPKD patients with severe chronic kidney disease awaiting kidney transplant. While survival in patients with ARPKD and isolated kidney transplant is comparable to that of age-matched pediatric patients who have received kidney transplants due to other primary renal diseases, 64–80% of the mortality occurring in ARPKD kidney transplant patients is attributed to cholangitis/sepsis, which is related to their hepato-biliary disease. Recent data demonstrate that surgical mortality among pediatric liver transplant recipients is decreased to <10% at one yr. The immunosuppressive regimen used for kidney transplant recipients is adequate for most liver transplant recipients. We therefore suggest that in a select group of ARPKD patients with recurrent cholangitis or complications of portal hypertension, combined liver–kidney transplant is a viable option. Although further study is necessary to confirm our approach, we believe that combined liver–kidney transplantation can potentially decrease overall mortality and morbidity in carefully selected ARPKD patients with ESRD and clinically significant CHF.