Professor Anil Dhawan

2012 - BSPGHAN/Core Award

Title: Body composition and metabolic profile of children with end stage liver disease before and after liver transplant; relations with outcome and cell energy controlling metabolic pathways

Project Start Date: 14 February 2013

Completion Date: 31 January 2017

Summary:

Funding from CORE/BSPGHAN grant is enabling us to assess how body composition and energy requirements of children with end stage liver disease differ from that of healthy children and how they change after liver transplantation. Children with end stage liver disease have previously been thought to have reduced lean mass and higher energy requirements. Our study, funded by CORE/BSPGHAN, describes the body composition and growth of 17 children with end stage liver disease considered for liver transplantation.

Body composition is assessed by basic anthropometry, stable isotopes, DXA scan and air displacement plethysmography. The resting energy expenditure of these children is assessed by indirect calorimetry. The growth, body composition and energy requirements of the patients is compared to those of healthy controls.

Body composition, growth and energy requirements are subsequently assessed at least 6 months after these children received their liver transplant.

In addition liver, muscle and fat tissue obtained at the time of the liver transplant from the patients is assessed with microarray analysis of gene expression with particular focus on the AMPK pathway. AMPK ignites catabolism in the cells to generate energy and therefore the focus is on pathways of glycolysis, lipolysis and muscle atrophy.
In summary our work aims to describe body composition in children with end stage liver disease before and after their liver transplantation and reports on expression of key metabolic pathways in their liver, muscle and fat tissue.

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