Pediatric liver transplantation is the standard of care for treatment of liver failure in children. The aim of this study was to identify the characteristics of pediatric liver transplantation in centers located in Korea and determine factors that influence outcomes. This retrospective study was performed using data from between 1988 and 2010 and included all recipients 18 yr old and younger who underwent pediatric liver transplantation in Korea during that period. Our data sources were hospital medical records and the outcome measure was overall patient survival. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were undertaken using the Cox proportional hazards model. Five hundred and thirty-four pediatric liver transplantations were performed in 502 children. Median age and average pediatric end-stage liver disease (PELD) score were 20 months and 18 point, respectively. Biliary atresia (57.7%, 308/534) was the most common cause of liver disease. Eighty-two (15.3%) were deceased donor liver transplantations and 454 (84.7%) were living donor liver transplantations. Retransplantation was performed in 32 cases (6%). Overall, 1-, 5-, and 10-yr patient survival rates were 87.8%, 82.2%, and 78.1%, respectively. In multivariate analysis, independent significant predictors of poor patient survival were chronic rejection and retransplantation. This study presents the epidemiologic data for nearly all pediatric liver transplantation in Korea and shows that the independent prognostic factors in patient survival are chronic rejection and retransplantation.
Liver Transplantation; Children; Survival; Rejection; Retransplantation
Hepatoblastoma is the most common malignant liver tumor in children. The aim of this study was to review our results of hepatoblastoma treatment and to determine the role of surgical treatment in hepatoblastoma.
This is a retrospective clinical study. The medical records of patients with hepatoblastoma, treated between October 1994 and October 2009, were reviewed. The patients were classified according to the pretreatment extent of disease (PRETEXT) grouping system. The main outcome variable was survival. Secondary outcome variables were complete, partial and no response to chemotherapy and surgery, when indicated.
Twenty-seven patients were treated during the observation period. Eighteen were males. Five were PRETEXT group I, 8 group II, 13 group III and 1 group IV. Complete excision was achieved in all patients except in one case that underwent liver transplantation (group IV). Median follow-up and survival rate were 2.3 years and 100%, 6.6 years and 75%, 5.8 years and 92%, 7.7 years and 100%, for groups I to IV, respectively. Twenty patients are currently considered to be in complete response status and three patients are receiving postoperative chemotherapy. Four patients died; the causes of death were cytomegalovirus hepatitis, bone marrow suppression during adjuvant chemotherapy, primarynonfunction after the transplantation for recurrent tumor and metachronous rectal cancer, respectively.
Favorable long-term outcome could be expected for hepatoblastoma with complete tumor excision and adjuvant chemotherapy.
Hepatoblastoma; Surgery; Drug therapy; Transplantation
Intra-abdominal desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRCT) is a highly malignant tumor of uncertain histogenesis. Here we report a case of DSRCT involving the stomach, initially misdiagnosed as gastric cancer. A 12-year-old boy presented with upper abdominal pain developed 1 month prior. On gastroscopy, a 7-cm mass was noted involving the esophago-gastric junction to the fundus, and positron emission tomography showed multiple hot uptakes suggesting distant metastasis. Gastroscopic biopsy showed poorly differentiated malignant cells. We diagnosed as stage IV gastric cancer and treated with 6 cycles of chemotherapy. Laparotomy revealed a huge gastric mass along with peritoneal disseminations. Palliative proximal gastrectomy was performed. Pathological examination revealed transmural involvement of DSRCT, and t(11;22)(p12;q12) was demonstrated on fluorescence in situ hybridization test. The chemotherapeutic regimen was changed and the patient underwent 8 additional cycles of post-operative chemotherapy. The patient is now alive and the residual tumor shows no significant changes after chemotherapy.
Stomach; Desmoplastic small round cell tumor; Children
The disparity between patients awaiting transplantation and available organs forced many patients to go overseas to receive a transplant. Few data concerning overseas transplantation in Korea are available and the Korea Society for Transplantation conducted a survey to evaluate the trend and outcome of overseas transplantation. The survey, conducted on June 2006, included 25 hospitals nationwide that followed up patients after receiving kidney transplant (KT) or liver transplant (LT) overseas. The number of KT increased from 6 in 2001 to 206 in 2005 and for LT from 1 to 261. The information about overseas transplant came mostly from other patients (57%). The mean cost for KT was $21,000 and for LT $47,000. Patients were admitted for 18.5 days for KT and 43.4 days for LT. Graft and patient survival was 96.8% and 96.5% for KT (median follow up 23.1 months). Complication occurred in 42.5% including surgical complication (5.3%), acute rejection (9.7%) and infection (21.5%). Patient survival for LT was 91.8% (median follow up 21.2 months). Complication occurred in 44.7% including 19.4% biliary complication. Overseas KT and LT increased rapidly from 2001 to 2005. Survival of patients and grafts was comparable to domestic organ transplantation, but had a high complication rate.
Transplant Tourism; Medical Tourism; Commercial Organ Transplantation; Kidney Transplantation; Liver Transplantation; Outcome
Neuroblastomas originating from different sites might have different clinical and biological characteristics. In the present study, the clinical (age, sex and stage) and biological (N-myc amplification, Shimada pathology and levels of lactate dehydrogenase, ferritin and neuron-specific enolase) characteristics of patients with newly diagnosed neuroblastoma were compared according to the site of tumor origin (extra-abdominal versus abdominal). The event-free survival rate (EFS) was also compared between the two groups. Among 143 neuroblastomas, 115 tumors originated from the abdomen, 26 from extra-abdominal sites and 2 from unknown primary sites. Frequencies of stage 4 tumor and N-myc amplified tumor were lower in the extra-abdominal group than in the abdominal group (34.6% vs. 60.0%, P=0.019 and 4.2% vs. 45.0%, P<0.001, respectively). Levels of lactate dehydrogenase, ferritin and neuron-specific enolase were significantly lower in the extra-abdominal group than in the abdominal group. The probability of 5-yr EFS (±95% confidence interval) was higher in the extra-abdominal group than in the abdominal group (94.4±10.6% vs. 69.4±9.4%, P=0.026). Taken together, neuroblastomas originating from extra-abdominal sites might be associated with more favorable clinical and biological characteristics and a better outcome than neuroblastomas originating from abdomen.
Neuroblastoma; Prognosis; Thorax; Transplantation, Autologous
Fibrous hamartoma (FH) of infancy is a distinctive fibrous growth that most frequently occurs at birth and during the postnatal period. It is important for clinicians and pathologists to recognize this entity to avoid an aggressive approach.
We herein describe the clinicopathologic features of 9 FHs diagnosed at a single institution between 1997 and 2010.
There were 7 boys and 2 girls, and the mean age of presentation was 14.7 months. The common locations were the lower back and gluteal region (n = 3) and scrotum (n = 2). They were solitary lesions, and measured 1.0 to 7.0 cm in maximum diameter (mean, 4.9 cm). The excised masses tended to be poorly circumscribed, and consisted of an intimate mixture of firm, gray-white tissue with fat. Histologically, these lesions were composed of 3 components forming a vague, irregular, organoid pattern: well-defined intersecting trabeculae of fibrocollagenous tissue; loosely textured areas of small, rounded, primitive mesenchymal cells; and mature fat. Over a median follow-up of 72 months, no patient showed recurrence.
FH should be distinguished from other forms of fibromatosis and malignant tumors because it is benign and usually cured by local excision.
Hamartoma; Infant; Soft tissue neoplasms; Differential diagnosis; Fibromatosis
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a rare complication after kidney transplantation. We describe a 62-year-old female with end-stage renal disease due to hypertension. She received a kidney with 4 mismatched human leukocyte antigen (HLA) out of 6 HLA - A, B, DR from a deceased donor. After the procedure, the patient showed watery diarrhea on postoperative day (POD) 45. An endoscopic biopsy of the colon revealed some apoptotic cells consistent with GVHD. Thrombocytopenia was gradually developed on POD 54. She received steroid pulse therapy, and thrombocytopenia did not progress. However, pneumonia, renal failure, and cardiac failure occurred. She died due to multiple organ failure. We must consider GVHD in renal transplant recipients without homozygous or identical HLA, who had only watery diarrhea without other typical GVHD symptoms such as skin rash and fever, although GVHD is rare in renal transplant recipients.
Graft-versus-host disease; Human leukocyte antigen; Kidney donation; Kidney transplantation
Pneumatosis intestinalis is an uncommon disorder characterized by an accumulation of gas in the bowel wall. We described three cases undertaking liver transplantation. The patients developed diarrhea in three cases and high fever in two. An abdominal X-ray and computed tomography scan demonstrated extensive pneumatosis intestinalis in the colon with pneumoperitoneum mimicking hollow organ perforation. However, the patients had no abdominal symptoms and there was no evidence of peritonitis. The infection work-up was negative except one case with cytomegalovirus antigenemia. After one week of conservative management including bowel rest and antibiotic therapy, their pneumoperitoneum resolved spontaneously without any complication. Pneumatosis intestinalis should be considered as a differential diagnosis after adult liver transplantation with patients suffering from watery diarrhea and fever. Pneumoperitoneum, air-density in mesentery and retroperitoneum in patients with pneumatosis intestinalis without signs of peritonitis improved with conservative management, which included bowel rest and antibiotic therapy.
Liver transplantation; Pneumatosis intestinalis; Watery diarrhea
A 50-year-old male, renal transplant recipient, was admitted with fever and chest discomfort. At admission, chest radiologic finding was negative and echocardiography showed minimal pericardial effusion. After 2 days of admission, chest pain worsened and blood pressure fell to 60/40 mmHg. Emergency echocardiography showed a large amount of pericardial effusion compressing the entire heart. Pericardiocentesis was performed immediately. Mycobacterium tuberculosis was isolated from pericardial fluid. Tuberculosis pericarditis should be considered as the cause of cardiac tamponade in renal transplant recipients, even with the absence of pericardial effusion in the initial study or suggestive history.
Pericardiac tamponade; Renal transplantation; Tuberculosis; Tuberculosis pericarditis
This study was undertaken to evaluate the long-term treatment of esophageal strictures in children with corrosive esophagitis and to determine the effect of self-bougienage on recurrent strictures.
Materials and Methods
We reviewed the medical records of nine children that were treated for corrosive esophageal strictures from May 2000 to May 2008. Six males and three females were included and their average age was 30 months. Six patients had ingested acids, two patents had ingested alkali, and one ingested an unknown agent.
The interval between caustic ingestion and esophageal stricture ranged from one to eight weeks. The average length of the esophageal strictures was 3.8 cm (range, 1 to 9.2 cm). Four patients had a long segment stricture (longer than 5 cm) and one patient had multiple strictures. The most common site of involvement was the upper third followed by the mid third of the esophagus. Eight patients received repeated dilatation using a balloon catheter or bougie dilator. Among the eight patients, two patients had complete resolution of symptoms and six patients required surgery. Among five patients that developed restenosis of the esophageal anastomosis site, three patients had improved symptoms after self-bougienage and two patients had improved symptoms with repeated balloon dilatation or endoscopic bougienage. There were no complications in these patients.
Although a small number of patients were studied, self-bougienage was safe, less invasive, and effective for the management of esophageal restenosis in patients who required frequent dilation after surgery.
Corrosive esophageal stricture; restenosis; bougie dilatation; balloon dilatation; self-bougienage
We identified pediatric liver transplant recipients with successful withdrawal of immunosuppression who developed tolerance in Korea.
Materials and Methods
Among 105 pediatric patients who received liver transplantation and were treated with tacrolimus-based immunosuppressive regimens, we selected five (4.8%) patients who had very low tacrolimus trough levels. Four of them were noncompliant with their medication and one was weaned off of immunosuppression due to life threatening posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder. We reviewed the medical records with regard to the relationship of the donor-recipients, patient characteristics and prognosis, including liver histology, and compared our data with previous reports.
Four patients received the liver transplantation from a parent donor and one patient from a cadaver donor. A trial of withdrawal of the immunosuppressant was started a median of 45 months after transplantation (range, 14 months to 60 months), and the period of follow up after weaning from the immunosuppressant was a median of 32 months (range, 14 months to 82 months). None of the five patients had rejection episodes after withdrawal of the immunosuppression; they maintained normal graft function for longer than 3 years (median, 38 months; range, 4 to 53 months). The histological findings of two grafts 64 and 32 months after weaning-off of the medication showed no evidence of chronic rejection.
The favorable markers for successful withdrawal of immunosuppression were 1) long-term (> 3 years) stable graft function, 2) no rejection for longer than 1 year after withdrawal of immunosuppression, 3) non-immune mediated liver diseases, and 4) pediatric patients.
Pediatric liver transplantation; withdrawal of immunosuppression; tacrolimus
High-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell rescue (HDCT/ASCR) was applied to improve the prognosis of patients with high-risk stage 3 neuroblastoma. From January 1997 to December 2006, 28 patients were newly diagnosed as stage 3 neuroblastoma. Nine of 11 patients with N-myc amplification and 5 of 17 patients without N-myc amplification (poor response in 2 patients, persistent residual tumor in 2 and relapse in 1) underwent single or tandem HDCT/ASCR. Patients without high-risk features received conventional treatment modalities only. While 8 of 9 patients underwent single HDCT/ASCR and the remaining one patient underwent tandem HDCT/ASCR during the early study period, all 5 patients underwent tandem HDCT/ASCR during the late period. Toxicities associated with HDCT/ASCR were tolerable and there was no treatment-related mortality. While the tumor relapsed in two of eight patients in single HDCT/ASCR group, all six patients in tandem HDCT/ASCR group remained relapse free. The 5-yr event-free survival (EFS) from diagnosis, in patients with N-myc amplification, was 71.6±14.0%. In addition, 12 of 14 patients who underwent HDCT/ASCR remained event free resulting in an 85.1±9.7% 5-yr EFS after the first HDCT/ASCR. The present study demonstrates that HDCT/ASCR may improve the survival of patients with high-risk stage 3 neuroblastoma.
Neuroblastoma; High-dose Chemotherapy; Autologous Stem Cell Rescue; Prognosis; N-myc
In order to evaluate whether immunosuppressive agents such as mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and azathioprine would differently influence the outcome of the renal transplants, we prospectively analyzed the incidence of acute rejection episodes, cytomegalovirus infection within the first 6 months following renal transplantation and 5 yr graft survival rate after minimizing influences of donor factors by grafting the same cadaveric donor kidney. There was no significant difference in sex, HLA mismatch, cold ischemic time, and patients' weight between the two groups. Contrary to the previous studies which demonstrated that MMF could lower the incidence of acute rejection episodes and improved graft survival rate, the two groups showed no significant difference in the incidence of acute rejection episodes and 5-yr graft survival rate as well. This discrepancy in these results might explain that donor factors could be important to cadaveric renal transplantation. Thus, we suggest that the influences of donor factors should be considered in further clinical studies of cadaveric renal transplantation.
Tissue Donors; Graft Rejection; Mycophenolic Acid; Azathioprine; Kidney Transplantation
Double high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) was applied to 18 patients with highrisk neuroblastoma including 14 patients who could not achieve complete response (CR) even after the first HDCT. In 12 patients, successive double HDCT was rescued with peripheral blood stem cells collected during a single round of leukaphereses and in 6 patients, second or more rounds of leukaphereses were necessary after the first HDCT to rescue the second HDCT. The median interval between the first and second HDCT (76 days; range, 47-112) in the single harvest group was shorter than that (274.5 days; range, 83-329) in the double harvest group (p<0.01). Hematologic recovery was slow in the second HDCT. Six (33.3%) treatment-related mortalities (TRM) occurred during the second HDCT but were not related to the shorter interval. Disease-free survival rates at 2 years with a median follow-up of 24 months (range, 6-46) in the single and double harvest group were 57.1% and 33.3%, respectively. These results suggest that successive double HDCT using the single harvest approach may improve the survival of high-risk patients, especially who could not achieve CR after the first HDCT despite delayed hematologic recovery and high rate of TRM during the second HDCT.