Health-related quality of life in pediatric liver transplant recipients: A single-center study

John C. Bucuvalas, Maria Britto, Susan Krug, Frederick C. Ryckman, Harry Atherton, Maria P. Alonso, William F. Ballistreri, Uma Kotagal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


The goals of the present study were (1) to measure health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in pediatric liver transplantation (LT), (2) to identify demographic and clinical factors that correlate with HRQ0L, and (3) to compare two instruments that have been used to measure HRQOL in children and adolescents. We conducted a single-center cross-sectional study of 77 pediatric LT recipients ages 5 to 18 years, all of whom had had LT at least 6 months previously. We used the Child Health Questionnaire Parent Form 50 (CHQPF50) and the PedsQL4.0 to determine measured dimensions of physical and psychosocial health from the parents' perspective. Individual scale scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores reflecting better health. Data on demographics, clinical status at transplantation, posttransplantation clinical course, and graft function were collected to identify predictors of posttransplantation HRQOL. Fifty-three percent of the liver transplant recipients had biliary atresia, 78% were white, and 61% were female. The mean age at LT was 3.8 ± 3.6 years, and the range of time since LT was 1 to 15 years. HRQOL in pediatric liver transplant recipients was lower than that reported for healthy children but similar to that for children with other chronic illness. Age at transplantation, the time elapsed since transplantation, hospitalizations within the previous year, maternal education, and race were significant predictors of physical health. Age at transplantation and maternal education predicted psychosocial function. HRQOL was decreased in a population of pediatric liver transplant recipients compared with the general population and similar to that for children with chronic illness. Prospective longitudinal studies will permit us to define predictors of HRQOL at different periods of time after transplantation. The information gained from this study will help us to better define expectations and the clinical course after liver transplantation to patients and their families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-71
Number of pages10
JournalLiver Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes


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