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17 June 2008

Liver transplantation for fulminant Wilson’s disease in children

Małgorzata Markiewicz-Kijewska, Marek Szymczak, Hor Ismail, Sylwester Prokurat, Joanna Teisseyre, Piotr Socha, Irena Jankowska, Anna Chyżyńska, Piotr Kaliciński, Marek Migdał

Ann Transplant 2008; 13(2): 28-31 :: ID: 858103


Background: Fulminant Wilson’s disease (FWD) is rare and fatal condition in children unless liver transplantation is performed, however introduction of new technologies could change this poor prognosis. The aim of our study was retrospective analysis of clinical course, treatment and outcome of children with FWD treated in our institution.
Material/Methods: Between 1999–2007 we’ve treated in our hospital 13 patients with mean age of 15.5 yrs with FWD. We performed retrospective analysis of clinical course, biochemical parameters, MELD/PELD score, Wilson score and Kings’-College criteria for LTx in acute liver failure in all these patients. Type of treatment and final outcome were analyzed, as well as qualification for transplantation was reevaluated in each case in accordance to pathological examination of explanted during transplantation livers.
Results: The initial symptoms of FWD were typically weakness, abdominal pain and developing later after 5–60 days (mean 20 days), jaundice. Eleven patients developed neurological symptoms with coma lasting for 2–11 days before transplantation or death. Maximal serum bilirubin concentration ranged between 4.5–71.6 mg% (mean 42.24 mg%), INR 2.9–10.0 (mean 5.4). MELD/PELD score was between 21–58 (mean 38), 10 patients fulfilled general King’s-College criteria for transplantation in acute liver failure. Wilson’s index ranged between 11 and 17 points (mean 13 points). In 11 children urgent liver transplantation (LTx) was performed, 1 child recovered on albumin dialysis and chelating treatment, 1 child died shortly after very late referral to our center. Actual follow-up of living patients is 0.36–7.43 years (mean 2.57 yrs), all are doing well with good liver function.
Conclusions: FWD lead to death in almost all pediatric patients if LTx can not be performed, however early introduction of albumin dialysis (MARS) and chelating therapy allowed for survival without transplantation in single patient. It seems also that MARS therapy allows for at least prolongation of waiting time for LTx. Wilson’s was slightly better predictor of need for LTx in our patients than classical Kings’-College criteria.

Keywords: fulminant Wilson’s disease, urgent liver transplantation, Wilson’s index

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Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358
Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358