During the Pre-Transplant Liver Evaluation

You will spend most of the day on the sixth floor at the Children’s Mason Transplant Center at Children’s at Egleston. Your child will have some routine tests that may include:

A routine medical exam
This includes your child’s height and weight, family history of long-term diseases, and any surgery your child had in the past.

  • Please keep a written record of your child’s medical history.
  • Have it ready before you come to the pre-transplant evaluation to share with the doctors.
  • Write down any questions you have and bring them with you as well.

Blood tests
Blood test that will check your childs:

  • Blood type: this test checks your child’s blood to see if it is type A, B, AB or O.
  • Blood chemistries: such as sodium and potassium.
  • Blood counts: such as red and white blood cell counts.
  • Liver enzymes: an enzyme is a protein that helps the body make certain chemicals.
  • Blood for viruses: such as EBV and CMV

Radiology and imaging tests

  • Chest X-ray: This test checks your child’s lungs.
  • Ultrasound with Doppler exam: This test checks the bile ducts and major blood vessels. It is often done before and after a liver transplant.
  • CT scan: This computerized image checks the size and shape of your child’s liver and major blood vessels.
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): This test may be used in place of a CT scan or ultrasound to check the liver and major blood vessels.
  • Total body bone scan: If your child has a liver tumor, he may need this test.
  • Upper gastrointestinal (GI) series: This test checks your child’s esophagus (tube between the mouth and stomach) and stomach.
  • Lower GI series: This test checks your child’s intestines (colon).
  • Angiogram: This test checks the size of the blood vessels outside of the liver or if there are any blockages. Dye is injected into an artery so that the blood vessels show up on X-ray.
  • Cholangiogram (co-lan-gee-o-gram): If needed, this test checks for any blockages or growths in your child’s bile ducts.
  • Gallium, colloidal gold or technetium scan: These tests show your child’s liver, gallbladder and pancreas.

Breathing and heart function tests

  • Pulmonary function test: This test checks how well your child’s lungs work.
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG): This test checks your child’s heart.


  • Peritoneoscopy (pair-i-to-nee-os-co-pee): A flexible tube is placed through a tiny incision in your child’s abdomen. The liver transplant doctor can see changes in the liver.
  • Liver biopsy: This test checks the liver tissue itself. A needle is placed between two of the right lower ribs to take a sample of the liver. The liver tissue sample goes to a lab for testing.

Other evaluations

  • Other doctors: Your child may see other doctors such as a urologist or cardiologist (heart doctor) who help your child’s doctor coordinate his care.
  • A psychosocial eval: Your family will talk to a social worker and psychologist to make sure you learn about the emotional aspects of a liver transplant.
  • Dietitian: The dietitian will help you choose the best foods for your child to eat.

Note: Your child may not require all of these tests. The Children’s Liver Transplant team will decide which tests your child needs.