Waiting list mortality for pediatric deceased donor liver transplantation in a Japanese living-donor–dominant program

Mureo Kasahara, Masami Katono, Andrea Schlegel, Tomomi Kubota, Yayoi Nakazato, Hajime Uchida, Seiichi Shimizu, Yusuke Yanagi, Masahiro Takeda, Akinari Fukuda, Seisuke Sakamoto

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) has become a major life-saving procedure for children with end-stage liver disease in Japan, whereas deceased donor liver transplantation (DDLT) has achieved only limited success. The annual number of pediatric liver transplantations is approximately 100-120, with a patient 20-year survival rate of 81.0%. In 2005, the liver transplantation program at the National Center for Child Health and Development in Tokyo, Japan, was initiated, with an overall number of 560 pediatric patients with end-stage liver disease to date. In July 2010, our center was qualified as a pediatric DDLT center; a total of 132 patients were listed for DDLT up until February 2019. The indications for DDLT included acute liver failure (n = 46, 34.8%), metabolic liver disease (n = 26, 19.7%), graft failure after LDLT (n = 17, 12.9%), biliary atresia (n = 16, 12.1%), and primary sclerosing cholangitis (n = 10, 7.6%). Overall, 25.8% of the patients on the waiting list received a DDLT and 52.3% were transplanted from a living donor. The 5-year patient and graft survivals were 90.5% and 88.8%, respectively, with an overall waiting list mortality of 3.0%. LDLT provides a better survival compared with DDLT among the recipients on the DDLT waiting list. LDLT is nevertheless of great importance in Japan; however, it cannot save all pediatric recipients. As the mortality of children on the waiting list has not yet been reduced to zero, both LDLT and DDLT should be implemented in pediatric liver transplantation programs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13578
JournalPediatric Transplantation
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Transplantation


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