Impaired physical function following pediatric LT

Amy G. Feldman, Katie Neighbors, Shubhra Mukherjee, Melanie Rak, James W. Varni, Estella M. Alonso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The purpose of this article is to investigate the spectrum of physical function of pediatric liver transplantation (LT) recipients 12-24 months after LT. Review data were collected through the functional outcomes group, an ancillary study of the Studies of Pediatric Liver Transplantation registry. Patients were eligible if they had survived LT by 12-24 months. Children ≥ 8 years and parents completed the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory™ 4.0 generic core scales, which includes 8 questions assessing physical function. Scores were compared to a matched healthy child population (n = 1658) and between survivors with optimal versus nonoptimal health. A total of 263 patients were included. Median age at transplant and survey was 4.8 years (interquartile range [IQR], 1.3-11.4 years) and 5.9 years (IQR, 2.6-13.1 years), respectively. The mean physical functioning score on child and parent reports were 81.2 ± 17.3 and 77.1 ± 23.7, respectively. Compared to a matched healthy population, transplant survivors and their parents reported lower physical function scores (P < 0.001); 32.9% of patients and 35.0% of parents reported a physical function score <75, which is > 1 standard deviation below the mean of a healthy population. Physical functioning scores were significantly higher in survivors with optimal health than those with nonoptimal health (P < 0.01). There was a significant relationship between emotional functioning and physical functioning scores for LT recipients (r = 0.69; P < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, primary disease, height z score < -1.64 at longterm follow-up (LTF) visit, > 4 days of hospitalization since LTF visit, and not being listed as status 1 were predictors of poor physical function. In conclusion, pediatric LT recipients 1-2 years after LT and their parents report lower physical function than a healthy population. Findings suggest practitioners need to routinely assess physical function, and the development of rehabilitation programs may be important. Liver Transplantation 22 495-504 2016 AASLD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-504
Number of pages10
JournalLiver Transplantation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Surgery
  • Hepatology


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