Liver retransplantation in children: a SPLIT database analysis of outcome and predictive factors for survival.
To examine outcomes and identify prognostic factors affecting survival after pediatric liver transplantation, data from 246 children who underwent a second liver transplantation (rLT) between 1996 and 2004 were analyzed from the SPLIT registry, a multi-center database currently comprised of 45 North American pediatric liver transplant programs. The main causes for loss of primary graft necessitating rLT were primary nonfunction, vascular complications, chronic rejection and biliary complications. Three-month, 1- and 2-year patient survival rates were inferior after rLT (74%, 67% and 65%) compared with primary LT (92%, 88% and 85%, respectively). Multivariate analysis of pretransplant variables revealed donor age less than 1 year, use of a technical variant allograft and INR at time of rLT as independent predictive factors for survival after rLT. Survival of patients who underwent early rLT (ErLT, <30 days after LT) was poorer than those who received rLT >30 days after LT (late rLT, LrLT): 3-month, 1- and 2-year patient survival rates 66%, 59%, and 56% versus 80%, 74% and 61%, respectively, log-rank p = 0.0141. Liver retransplantation in children is associated with decreased survival compared with primary LT, particularly, in the clinical settings of those patients requiring ErLT.