Long-term linear growth and puberty in pediatric liver transplant recipients

Saeed Mohammad*, Adda Grimberg, Elizabeth Rand, Ravinder Anand, Wanrong Yin, Estella M. Alonso

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objective To explore linear growth, puberty, and predictors of linear growth impairment among pubertal liver transplant recipients. Study design Review of data collected prospectively through the Studies of Pediatric Liver Transplantation registry. Thirty-one variables were tested as risk factors for linear growth impairment, and factors significant at P <.1 were included in a logistic regression model. Risk factor analysis was limited to 512 patients who had complete demographic and medical data. Results A total of 892 patients surviving their first liver transplant by >1 year, with ≥1 height recorded, who were between 8 and 18 years old between the years 2005 and 2009 were included. Median follow-up was 70.2 ± 38.6 months, mean age was 12.9 ± 3.3 years, and mean height z-score (zH) was -0.5 ± 1.4 SD. Twenty percent had linear growth impairment at last follow-up. Of 353 subjects with Tanner stage data, 39% of girls and 42% of boys ages 16-18 years were not yet Tanner 5. Growth impairment rates were higher among boys than girls (30% vs 7%, P <.05) at Tanner stage 4, and occurred in 8/72 (11%) of Tanner 5 subjects. Among patients with parental height data, zH were lower than calculated mid-parental zH (P <.005). Independent predictors of growth impairment included linear growth impairment at transplant (OR 11.53, P ≤.0001), re-transplantation (OR 4.37, P =.001), non-white race (P =.0026), and primary diagnosis other than biliary atresia (P =.0105). Conclusions Linear growth impairment and delayed puberty are common in pubertal liver transplant recipients, with pre-transplant growth impairment identified as a potentially modifiable risk factor. Catch-up growth by the end of puberty may be incomplete.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1354-1360.e7
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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