This pilot project aims to 1) estimate the prevalence of osteoporosis in adults having
undergone liver transplantation in childhood, and 2) identify risk factors for osteoporosis
in this group. We aim to study 40 individuals.
Background: Osteoporosis is defined as an absolute decrease in the amount of bone (volume
and/or density). Chronic liver disease is associated with osteoporosis in both adults and
children. Bone density is also decreased in the months immediately after liver
transplantation, but improves to pretransplant values after 1 to 2 years. Immunosuppressive
agents, most notably steroids, are a cause of osteoporosis. However, studies on adults have
shown that bone densities afer transplantation continue to improve within the normal range
for healthy adults. In the case of children, bone accretion is necessary for growth.
Chronic liver disease and transplantation in childhood will have an adverse effect on bone
metabolism and the outcome in terms of bone density after the growth period cannot be
predicted on individuals transplanted as adults or other transplant groups.
- Liver transplantation in childhood or young adulthood