Growth and height in children after liver transplantation
To assess the linear growth after liver transplantation, height curves were constructed for 45 children who underwent liver transplantation at the Children’s Hospital “La Paz”, Madrid, and were followed for more than 2 years. The prednisolone dose was progressively tapered and switched to alternate-day administration at 12 months. Growth was severely impaired during daily steroid therapy but the mean growth rate normalized in the second year and a significant improvement was observed in successive years. Observations over a long period revealed flucting growth rates under stable or decreasing doses of prednisolone on alternate-day administration. Beyond the first year, some annual periods of abnormal growth rate occurred in 57% of the children. Marginally better posttransplantation growth was observed in children transplanted for intrahepatic cholestatic diseases. The prednisolone dose did not correlate with growth rate. In the long term, short stature was highly prevalent due to an accumulation of factors: previous disease, daily prednisolone period, inconstant growth rate under alternate-day steroid therapy, and pubertal delay.
Key wordsStatural growth Liver transplantation
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