Children who undergo a liver transplant will require regular
monitoring and daily medication for the rest of their lives to prevent
them from rejecting their new liver. A new review discusses important consideration when caring for children who have received liver transplants.
Young patients process immunosuppressive agents differently than older patients, which can have effects on drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion. Children will also be exposed to immunosuppressive drugs longer than adults, which can impact their growth and their long-term risk of infection and cancer.
"Caring for children after liver transplantation is extremely rewarding thanks to their excellent outcomes," said Dr. Tamir Miloh, lead author of the Liver Transplantation review. "Tailoring the immunosuppressant regimen in pediatrics is complex, however, due to physiologic differences in pharmacokinetics, impact on growth and development, infection risk, carcinogenesis, and likelihood of non-adherence on one hand and tolerance on the other. Pre-transplant and continuous post-transplant caregiver and patient education is crucial for optimal outcomes."