Background. Initiated in 1995, the Studies of Pediatric Liver Transplantation (SPLIT) registry database is a cooperative research network of pediatric transplantation centers in the United States and Canada. The primary objectives are to characterize and follow trends in transplant indications, transplantation techniques, and outcomes (e.g., patient/graft survival, rejection, growth parameters, and immunosuppressive therapy.) Methods. As of June 15, 2000, 29 centers registered 1144 patients, 640 of whom received their first liver-only transplant while registered in SPLIT. Patients are followed every 6 months for 2 years and yearly thereafter. Data are submitted to a central coordinating center. Results. One/two-year patient survival and graft loss estimates are 0.85/0.82 and 0.77/0.72, respectively. Risk factors for death include: in ICU at transplant (relative risk (RR) = 2.63, P<0.05) and height/weight deficits of two or more standard deviations (RR= 1.67, P<0.05). Risk factors for graft loss include: in ICU at transplant (RR= 1.77, P<0.05) and receiving a cadaveric split organ compared with a whole organ (RR=2.3, P<0.05). The percentage of patients diagnosed with hepatic a. and portal v. thrombosis were 9.7% and 7%, respectively; 15% had biliary complications within 30 days. At least one re-operation was required in 45%. One/ two-year rejection probability estimates are 0.60/0.66. Tacrolimus, as primary therapy posttransplant, reduces first rejection risk (RR=0.70, P<0.05). Eighty-nine percent of school-aged children are in school full-time, 18 months posttransplant. Conclusions. This report provides one of the first descriptions of characteristics and clinical courses of a multicenter pediatric transplant population. Observations are subject to patient selection biases but are useful for generating hypothesis for future studies.
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