(HealthDay News) – For young pediatric patients, the risk associated with deceased-donor (DD) partial liver transplantation has decreased over time, according to a study published online May 21 in Liver Transplantation.

Ryan P. Cauley, MD, from Boston Children’s Hospital, and colleagues examined the current adjusted risk of graft failure and mortality in 2,679 under-age-2, liver-alone recipients of DD livers. Recipients included 1,114 DD partial livers and 1,565 DD whole organs. Risks over time were compared for 1995–2000, 2001–2005, and 2006–2010.

The researchers found that from 1995–2000 there were significant differences in crude graft survival by graft type, while graft survival was comparable for partial and whole grafts for 2001–2005 and 2006–2010. In 1995–2000, the adjusted hazard of partial graft failure was 1.4 and the adjusted hazard of mortality was 1.41. In 2006–2010, the adjusted risks of graft failure and mortality were comparable for partial and whole organs.

“Deceased-donor partial liver transplantation has become less risky over time, and now has comparable outcomes to whole liver transplantation in infants and young children,” the authors write. “This study supports the use of partial DD liver grafts in young children in an attempt to significantly increase the pediatric organ pool.”

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