Immunosuppression-Free Life after Pediatric Liver Transplant: A Case-Control Study from the Society of Pediatric Liver Transplant (SPLIT) Registry

SPLIT Registry

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Objective: To compare long-term outcomes of pediatric liver transplant (LT) recipients off immunosuppression (IS) with matched controls on IS using data from the Society of Pediatric Liver Transplant (SPLIT) registry. Study design: This was a retrospective case-control study. SPLIT participants <18 years of age, ≥4 years after isolated LT, and off IS for ≥1 year (cases) were age- and sex-matched 1:2 to patients with the same primary diagnosis and post-LT follow-up duration (controls). Primary outcomes included retransplantation, allograft rejection, IS comorbidities, and prevalence of SPLIT-derived composite ideal outcome (c-IO) achieved at the end of the follow-up period. Differences were compared using multiple linear regression for continuous outcomes and logistic regression for dichotomous data. Results: The study cohort was composed of 33 cases (42.4% male, 60.6% biliary atresia, median age at LT of 0.7 [P25, P75, 0.5, 1.6] years, median IS withdrawal time of 9 [P25, P75, 6, 12] years after LT) and 66 age- and sex-matched controls. No cases required retransplantation. Cases and controls had similar growth parameters, laboratory values, calculated glomerular filtration rates, rates of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease, graft rejection, and attainment of c-IO. Conclusions: No differences in allograft rejection rates, IS complications, or c-IO prevalence were seen between SPLIT patients off IS and age- and sex-matched controls remaining on IS. Discontinuation of IS most commonly occurred in the context of rigorously designed IS withdrawal trials. The available sample size was small, affecting generalizability to the broader pediatric LT population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113744
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • comorbidity
  • health status
  • therapy
  • withdrawal


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