As survival rates for pediatric liver transplant continue to increase, research attention is turning toward long-term functional consequences, with particular interest in whether medical and transplant-related factors are implicated in neurocognitive outcomes. The relative importance of different factors is unclear, due to a lack of methodological uniformity, inclusion of differing primary diagnoses, varying transplant policies, and organ availability in different jurisdictions. This cross-sectional, single-site study sought to address various methodological limitations in the literature and the paucity of studies conducted outside of North America and Western Europe by examining the intellectual and academic outcomes of Australian pediatric liver transplant recipients (N = 40). Participants displayed significantly poorer intellectual and mathematical abilities compared with the normative population. Greater time on the transplant waitlist was a significant predictor of poorer verbal intelligence, working memory, mathematical abilities, and reading but only when considering the subgroup of children with biliary atresia. These findings support reducing the time children wait for a transplant as a priority.
- health services and outcomes research
- liver transplantation/hepatology
- quality of life (QOL)
- waitlist management