For Referring Physicians

The Pediatric Liver Transplant Program at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC treats a variety of diagnoses. In addition to addressing acute and end-stage liver disease, Children's offers transplants for conditions that, while not immediately life-threatening, impair development and diminish a child's quality of life.  Children's Hospital is among the most accomplished centers in the use of liver transplantation to treat and in some cases cure metabolic disorders.

Living-Donor Liver Transplantation as a Treatment Option

Outcomes for liver transplantation are excellent, but access to quality deceased donor organs is an issue.. To help overcome the organ shortage, surgeons and physicians at Children's have developed a living-donor liver transplantation program  as a life-saving alternative. In the process, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC has emerged as  the leading center in the U.S. for pediatric living-donor liver transplantation in the past 5 years.

The first living-donor liver transplant was performed at Children's Hospital in 1997 on an 18-month-old boy with biliary atresia, who successfully received a portion of his father's liver. The program has excellent results, reporting 1 and 3 year patient survival at 100%, according to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR).

Added Benefits

The use of liver tissue  from living donors for pediatric liver transplantation helps us achieve success in multiple ways, including:

  • Reduced wait times for transplantation
  • Ability for a healthier patient at the time of transplant surgery, before the patient becomes critically ill
  • More positive, longer term outcomes for patients, which may be related to genetic matching and immunologic advantages from healthy living related donors
  • Providing an alternative use of tissue from deceased donors, which is a scarce resource
  • Ability to lower immunosuppression

We encourage referring physicians to open the discussion about living donor liver transplantation with the patients and families you refer to us. 

Contact Us

Contact a Transplant Coordinator to learn more about living donor liver transplantation, or to discuss a child's liver condition, or to make a patient referral.

Phone:  412-692-6110
Fax:  412-692-6116
Office hours:  8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
24-hour Emergency Referrals:  1-877-640-6746

kate zetler

Kate Zetler, RN,  MSN
Phone: 412-692-6925
Email: kathryn.zetler2@chp.edu

Renee Brown-Bakewell
Phone: 412-692-6310
Email: renee.brown-bakewell@chp.edu