Purpose of review
Long-term survival is now the rule rather than the exception for infants and children who undergo liver transplantation for end-stage liver disease, metabolic liver conditions and a variety of other indications. Pediatricians and primary care
providers play vital roles in the care and management of this patient population. The purpose of this review is to highlight key aspects important to the care of the pediatric liver transplant recipient.
Significant advances in immunosuppressive therapies and surgical techniques have contributed to improved graft and patient survival rates, shifting the focus beyond immediate survival to strategies to minimize comorbidities related to long-term immunosuppression
during growing years, attend to patient and parent-reported outcomes and enhance quality of life. A multidisciplinary approach allows for monitoring and surveillance of both routine (growth, nutritional rehabilitation, cognitive development, mental and psychosocial health, contraception and daily activities) and transplant-related (adverse effects of immunosuppression
, susceptible infections, extra-hepatic systems, transition from childhood to adolescence to adulthood) themes.
Effective communication between the primary care
physician and the transplant team is imperative for optimizing best outcomes. The primary care
provider should be aware of the multifacet nature of posttransplant management, which includes medication regimens, common complications and infections.