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No Difference in Rate of Survival for Children of Different Races Undergoing Liver Transplantation, but Long-Term Results Not as Good for African-American Adults
Date:10/29/2008

Research to be presented Saturday, November 1, 2008 at this year's liver

meeting in San Francisco, California, October 31 - November 4

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Two studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases paint a different picture of survival based on racial group for adult and child recipients of liver transplants.

Researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine used a United Network for Organ Sharing dataset of 2700 pediatric liver transplant recipients age 17 years and under to determine if there were any differences in survival between racial groups -- Caucasians, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asians. They looked at graft and patient survival for the period between 2002 and 2007, and found that, although there were differences in leading cause for inclusion on the transplant list, age at time of transplant, and sex of transplant recipients, there was no difference in either allograft or patient survival rate between the racial groups. Similarly, they found no difference in PELD/MELD score (a standard scoring system for disease severity) at time of transplant and percentage of patients undergoing multiorgan transplants.

"The finding that children in the current era have no disparities in outcomes was quite surprising, since our study is a small part of a larger research project that examined both adult and pediatric transplantation outcomes and found African-Americans faring significantly worse at three years following transplantation," said the study's presenter Natasha Becker, MD.

A study conducted by researchers at the Mayo Clinic also found differences in long-term survival rate among racial groups for adult transplant recipients. This study examined race of the transplant recipients, transplant centers, and payer status. All 11565 single-organ liver transplant recipients from 2003 to 2005 were included in one of four groups -- African-American
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SOURCE American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
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