Neuropsychological outcome of pediatric liver transplantation

S. M. Stewart, C. Hiltebeitel, J. Nici, D. A. Waller, R. Uauy, W. S. Andrews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Children with end-stage liver disease who undergo liver transplantation may have unrecognized neuropsychological and academic deficits, for which remediation programs may be available. Intellectual, academic, and neuropsychological measures of 28 pediatric patients who had received successful liver transplantation at least 1 year previously were compared with those of 18 patients with cystic fibrosis (to control for effects of growth retardation and chronic illness) matched for age, age at diagnosis, physical growth, and parents' socio-economic status. Liver transplant patients had significantly lower scores on nonverbal intelligence tests (mean ± SD for liver transplant vs cystic fibrosis patients: 89.1 ± 19.1 vs 105.8 ± 17.6), lower academic achievement, and lower z scores for age in the areas of learning and memory (-0.68 ± 1.09 vs 0.19 ± 1.24), abstraction and concept formation (-1.73 ± 1.58 vs -0.79 ± 1.37), visual-spatial function (-0.66 ± 1.09 vs 0.10 ± 0.69), and motor function (-0.13 ± 0.85 vs 0.36 ± 0.57). No differences were found on tests of verbal intelligence, or in alertness and concentration, perceptual-motor, and sensory-perceptual areas. Cyclosporine levels were found to correlate positively with motor speed (r = .41, P < .05). Thorough psycho-educational and neuropsychological evaluations should be considered for pediatric patients who receive liver transplantation to allow these children to maximize their potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-376
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991


  • academic achievement
  • intelligence quotient
  • neuropsychological function
  • pediatric liver transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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