Mapping children by ALT 4–5 years after liver transplant: Potential individual and population applications

Wesley Dixon, Emily R. Perito, John Bucuvalas, Sandy Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Although clinicians repeatedly measure ALT to assess allograft health in children with liver transplants, they generally make decisions based on single values or qualitative trends without quantitative aggregation or synthesis. We therefore aimed to derive and test a holistic ALT metric for the 5th post-transplant year (Yr 4–5) that may better guide clinical decision-making and/or population comparisons. Methods: We derived the “adjusted mean Yr 4–5 ALT” for children transplanted in 2005–2016 by averaging the median ALT from each month. Patients in quartiles (Q1–4) defined by the adjusted mean Yr 4–5 ALT were compared by clinical variables, Yr 5–8 outcomes, and tacrolimus standard deviation (MLVI). Results: For 97 children [49 male; 77 deceased donors; median (IQR) age at LT 2.5 (0.8–11.7) years], the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentile thresholds for adjusted mean Yr 4–5 ALT were 19, 28, and 47 U/L, respectively. Age, donor type, LT indication, rejection history, and mean tacrolimus levels did not differ between quartiles (Q). Children in Q4 had more Yr 4–5 acute rejection episodes (p <.01), higher Yr 4–5 MLVI (p <.01), and more Yr 5–8 for-cause liver biopsies (p <.01) than those in Q1 + Q2. Children in Q3 also had higher Yr 4–5 MLVI than Q1 + Q2 (p =.047). Rates of chronic rejection and therapeutic liver-related procedures were higher in Q4 but the difference did not reach significance. Conclusion: An integrated ALT metric calculated utilizing all available ALT values correlates with MLVI and future for-cause biopsies. Further study of this novel ALT metric as a predictor of clinical outcomes and descriptor of populations is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14569
JournalPediatric Transplantation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • ALT
  • liver transplantation
  • pediatric
  • population
  • risk stratification


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