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Pennsylvania researchers find liver transplants provide metabolic cure for rare genetic disease

nd the Clinic for Special Children involved 11 of these MSUD patients, including the original patient. Results of the study are published in the March issue of the American Journal of Transplantation.

"The development of liver transplantation as a treatment for MSUD has dramatically improved our patients' quality of life," said George V. Mazariegos, director of Pediatric Transplantation at Children's and one of the study authors. "Our MSUD patients and their families had lived in fear of everything from a chicken nugget to a common cold. Liver transplantation is not without risks, but for some patients, it is the best option and it has allowed these recipients and their families to live without fear of simple things most people take for granted."

Kevin A. Strauss, MD, a pediatrician at the Clinic for Special Children and a co-author of the study, said that over the past 15-20 years, early diagnosis of MSUD followed by careful nutritional therapy have improved the health and developmental outcome of affected individuals.

"Nevertheless, the risk for metabolic crisis and acute neurological injury is always present, and many older individuals with MSUD suffer from depression, anxiety, and impaired concentration and learning," Dr. Strauss said. "Liver transplantation protects patients from these acute and chronic neurological complications. It is a reasonable alternative to nutritional therapy, particularly for patients with poor access to specialized medical care. However, liver transplantation is not without serious risks, and decisions about the best course of therapy will vary on an individual basis."


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Source:Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh


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