Full text loading...
n South African Medical Journal - Paediatric liver transplantation in Johannesburg : initial 29 cases and prospects for the future
Background. The Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre paediatric liver transplant programme is the second such unit in sub-Saharan Africa. Initiated in November 2005, it forms part of the centre's solid organ transplant unit, comprising kidney, liver and simultaneous kidney-pancreas arms. Initially established in the private sector, we recently received government approval to expand our programme into the provincial sector and have performed transplants on several provincial-sector patients. Current challenges relate to the lack of appropriately trained paediatric sub-specialists, specifically critical care practitioners and hepatologists.
Methods. Subsequent to institutional approval, a retrospective chart analysis of all paediatric liver transplants performed at our facility to date was conducted.
Results. Defining children as those under 18 years of age, 29 patients have received a cadaveric liver transplant since 2005, using 16 whole livers, 10 reduced-size grafts, and 3 split segments; 13 were transplanted with biliary atresia, 3 hyperoxalurea, 3 autosomal recessive polycystic disease, 2 alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, and 2 idiopathic, with the remainder for a wide spectrum of other pathologies. Seven patients received combined liver-kidney transplants. There were 3 in-hospital mortalities. The remaining 26 patients are all long-term survivors. We describe 7 acute surgical morbidities in 6 patients, and 8 long-term surgical morbidities. One patient was subsequently re-transplanted in Cape Town.
Conclusions. Despite a shortage of organs, we have overcome a steep learning curve, with results comparable with other early series. The current threat to the continued viability of our unit is the lack of appropriately trained paediatric hepatologists and intensivists.
Article metrics loading...