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Unique liver transplant gives fresh life to kids

Posted Jun 02 2009 4:38pm

Unique liver transplant gives fresh life to kidsNew Delhi, February 20: 22-month old boy Shourya and two-year old girl Siya Thakur have got a fresh lease of life, thanks to the ‘domino liver transplant’. Two of them are perhaps the world’s youngest patients to have had such an operation."

New Delhi, February 20:22-month old boy Shourya and two-year old girl Siya Thakur have got a fresh lease of life, thanks to the ‘domino liver transplant’. Two of them are perhaps the world’s youngest patients to have had such an operation.

A team of 20 specialists from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, successfully performed the domino liver transplantthat entails sequential surgery, on January 31. The procedurewent on for about 16 hours.

The transplant that made use of 20 percent of his aunt’s liver, has healed Shourya who was suffering from Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD).

Meanwhile, his own liver was transplanted to 2-year old Siya, who was struggling for life due to an uncommon liver failure condition called Langerhans’s cell histiocytosis (LCH).

Numerous chemotherapy sessions however helped Siya in checking LCH; the process damaged her liver to such an extent that a transplant was the only solution left.

According to doctors, Shourya is the first patient in India and youngest in the world to receive a living donor liver transplant for curing MSUD. And Siya, she is the youngest in the world to get a domino liver transplant.

The operation was conducted upon Shourya, his aunt Mukta and Siya in three distinct theatres. Initially, the donor liver was removed followed by removal of Shourya’s liver. Thus, the boy got his aunt’s liver, and his liver in turn was transplanted into Siya.

Dr. AS Soin, director of liver transplantation at Ganga Ram Hospital, and the chief surgeon involved in the transplants, remarked, “Domino transplants are rare because there are very few conditions in which you can cure the patient with a transplant and then transplant his or her organ into someone else without passing on the disease.”

MSUD is the outcome of the deficiency of an enzyme in the body. A liver transplant can enable the patient to tide over its shortfall in other body parts by making sufficient amount of the enzyme in the new organ.

A patient suffering from MSUD has an otherwise normal liver that can be transplanted into somebody else without the risk of communicating the disease.

MSUD is characterized by vomiting, poor feeding, weight loss, convulsions and finally results in coma. High acid levels in the urine cause it to smell like burnt sugar- the reason why it is named Maple SyrupUrine Disease.

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