Long-term immunosuppression (IS) leads to systemic complications affecting health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in pediatric liver transplantation (LT) recipients. We serially assessed HRQOL using the PedsQL Generic and Multidimensional Fatigue Scales and Family Impact and Transplant Modules as part of a multicenter prospective immunosuppression withdrawal (ISW) trial between 2012 and 2018. Participants received a primary LT ≥4 years before the study and were on stable IS with normal liver tests and without rejection in the prior 2 years. IS was withdrawn in 7 steps over 36 to 48 weeks. HRQOL was assessed at regular intervals. The primary endpoint was change in disease-specific HRQOL measured by the PedsQL Transplant Module. Generic HRQOL was measured by the PedsQL Generic Scale and was compared with an age-matched and sex-matched multicenter cohort. Of the 88 participants, 39 were boys, median age was 11 years (range, 8-13), and time since transplant was 9 years (range, 6-11). For 36 months, disease-specific HRQOL improved for all participants, whereas generic HRQOL was unchanged. Neither generic nor disease-specific HRQOL changed for the 35 participants who developed acute rejection during ISW. In the first use of patient-reported outcome measures during an ISW trial, we found improvements in disease-specific HRQOL in all participants and no lasting detrimental effects in those who experienced rejection.
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