Living-related donor liver transplantation (LDLT) is an accepted approach to pediatric liver transplantation. Parental donation imposes a significant risk of chimerism with graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) because donors homozygous at all HLA loci (1.6% of the population) present no mismatched HLA antigens to be recognized by their offspring's immune system. The case of a 9-month-old who underwent LDLT with her 23-year-old HLA- homozygous mother as a donor demonstrates the consequences of this occurrence. The patient developed GVHD with aplastic anemia; the patient's nucleated peripheral blood elements were shown to be entirely derived from the donor. Later, after some marrow recovery, the patient's circulating lymphocytes had a donor origin, while the marrow-derived neutrophils had a recipient origin. The patient suffers from chronic GVHD and debilitating skin disease several years posttransplant. Our current protocol calls for HLA typing to eliminate parents who are homozygous at all HLA loci as donors of hepatic allografts to their children.
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