Public Release: 

20-year survival expected for 4 out of 5 children who receive liver transplants

Liver transplantation has become a common treatment of liver disease over the past 30 years; however long-term patient outcome data has been scarce

European Association for the Study of the Liver

April 14, 2016, Barcelona, Spain: A new study presented today shows that 20-year survival after childhood liver transplantation can be expected for almost 80% of patients. The study, presented at The International Liver CongressTM 2016 in Barcelona, Spain, shares long-term outcome data from medical records of children who received liver transplants over a five-year period, with a mean follow-up of 22 years.

Pediatric patients currently account for approximately 12.5% of liver transplant recipients1 and in Europe approximately 6,973 people received a liver transplant in 2012.2

"Until now there has been no good answer as to how long children could be expected to live after liver transplantation," said Josefina Martinelli, Paediatric Liver Unit, AP-HP and lead author of the study. "While each child receiving a transplant is unique and every procedure is different, this study provides robust evidence on the average expected survival rates, an important consideration for the parents of children who undergo this complicated procedure."

The authors retrospectively analysed the medical records of 128 consecutive children who underwent cadaveric transplantation (whole liver n=47, partial n=77, split n=4) in Bicêtre Hospital, France from 1988 to 1993 at a median age of 2.5 years.

According to the study, patient survival rates recorded at five, 10, 15 and 20 years were 84%, 82%, 80% and 79%, while graft survival rates were 73%, 72%, 67% and 65% respectively. The most common complications experienced by patients were infection (59%), followed by acute (44%) and chronic (37%) rejection. Chronic kidney disease stage 2 or more was present in one third of patients. A total of 100 patients survived 20 years or more after transplantation.

"This study is evidence of the great progress the medical community is making as we continue to learn more about how the body deals with transplanted organs," says Professor Laurent Castera, EASL Secretary General.


About The International Liver Congress™

This annual congress is the biggest event in the EASL calendar, attracting scientific and medical experts from around the world to learn about the latest in liver research. Attending specialists present, share, debate and conclude on the latest science and research in hepatology, working to enhance the treatment and management of liver disease in clinical practice. This year, the congress is expected to attract approximately 10,000 delegates from all corners of the globe. The International Liver Congress™ takes place from April 13 - 17, 2016, at the Fira Barcelona Gran Via, Barcelona, Spain.

About EASL

Since EASL's foundation in 1966, this not-for-profit organisation has grown to over 4,000 members from all over the world, including many of the leading hepatologists in Europe and beyond. EASL is the leading liver association in Europe, having evolved into a major European Association with international influence, with an impressive track record in promoting research in liver disease, supporting wider education and promoting changes in European liver policy.


For more information, please contact the ILC Press Office at:

Onsite location reference

Liver transplantation, Hall 8.0-B3
Thursday 14 April, 16:00 - 18:00
Presenter: Josefina Martinelli, France
Abstract: PS038, Long-term outcome of liver transplantation in childhood: A study of 100 patients surviving for 20 years or more

Author disclosures of interest



1 Medscape. Paediatric Liver Transplantation. October 2015. Available from: Last accessed: March 2016.
2 European Commission. Journalist Workshop on Organ donation and transplantation Recent Facts & Figures. Available from: Last accessed: March 2016.

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