Liver transplantation for pediatric patients in liver failure and multiple organ system failure (MOSF) often results in poor patient survival. Progression of organ failure occurs while awaiting a cadaveric allograft. Therefore, we considered living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) in this critically ill group of children and report our initial results with comparison to a similar group who received cadaveric donation (CAD). A retrospective chart review was performed on all pediatric liver transplant recipients who met criteria for MOSF at the time of transplantation. Data collection involved pretransplantation patient profiles, as well as postoperative complications and patient survival. Eight patients in MOSF received living donor transplants and 11 patients received a cadaveric allograft. Mean wait time was 3.5 days in the LDLT group and 6.5 days in the CAD group. Pretransplantation patient profiles and postoperative complications were similar between groups. Mean cold ischemia times were 3.8 hours in the LDLT group and 7.9 hours in the CAD group (P = .0002). Thirty-day and 6-month survival rates of the LDLT group were 88% and 63% compared with 45% and 27% in the CAD group, respectively. Living donor transplant recipients in MOSF had decreased cold ischemia times, to transplantation, as well as decreased cold ischemia times, compared with cadaveric transplant recipients. Patients in the LDLT group had markedly improved survival compared with the CAD group. Timely transplantation before worsening organ failure may account for these findings.
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