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Open Access Monitoring of Intraportal Liver Cell Application in Children

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Despite recent advances and promising results in children, liver cell transplantation (LCT) should still be regarded as an experimental therapy. Several substantial complications are known from animal studies and individual patients. However, safety data on liver cell infusion in children are scarce. We used LCT in four children of different ages (3 weeks to 11 years, 3‐40 kg) and underlying diseases [acute liver failure (n = 1), urea cycle disorders (n = 2), and Crigler-Najjar syndrome (n = 1)]. Vital parameters, portal vein flow (PVF), portal vein pressure (PVP), and liver enzymes were measured every 5 min during cell application and hourly thereafter between applications. An application protocol with discontinuation rules depending on changes in PVF and PVP was developed and successfully applied. Application was feasible in all children despite the catastrophic overall condition of the patient with acute liver failure. No application-related changes in vital parameters were found, and none of the children experienced clinical signs of portal vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, or anaphylactic reactions. Time courses for changes in PVF, PVP, and liver enzymes were obtained. Thorough monitoring of portal vein pressure and duplex sonography according to a defined protocol is likely to increase safety of cell application in pediatric LCT.

Keywords: Acute liver failure; Carbamoylphosphate synthase deficiency; Citrullinemia; Hepatocyte transplantation; Ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency; Portal vein flow (PVF); Portal vein pressure (PVP); Urea cycle disorders

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of General Pediatrics, University Children’s Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany.

Publication date: 2010-05-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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