Liver Transplantation: Signs of Liver Failure or Damage in Kids

Once a child is diagnosed with liver disease it is important to make a thorough assessment to determine the severity of the disease and its projected outcome. Decisions for management of these patients with liver disease or metabolic disorders are made by a multidisciplinary team to examine all options of therapy and intervention. 

Liver disease symptoms and findings that may indicate the need for a liver transplant include:

  • Failure of synthetic function (decrease albumin, elevated clotting times, etc.)
  • Portal hypertension with bleeding (variceal bleeding)
  • Severe hypersplenism along with liver dysfunction (decreased platelet count)
  • Unacceptable quality of life (itching, poor growth, failure to thrive)
  • Recurrent cholangitis
  • Malnutrition
  • Encephalopathy (elevated ammonia levels in the blood)
  • Progressive jaundice

Through its success, liver transplantation is now an option not only for patients with life-threatening liver disease but for those with life-disabling complications of pediatric liver disease.

Learn more about What Liver Diseases Lead to Transplantation.