Abstract Background Orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) is frequently associated with dramatic hemodynamic changes; thus, it is critical to accurately monitor blood pressure. Although comparisons between femoral arterial blood pressure (FABP) and radial arterial blood pressure (RABP) have been reported in adult liver recipients, we compared FABP with RABP in pediatric recipients. Methods Thirty-five pediatric liver recipients younger than 13 years of age were included in this prospective, observational study. We measured simultaneous FABP and RABP in the femoral and radial arteries at nine time points during the procedure, including: baseline (after anesthetic induction); 1 hour thereafter; 30 minutes after the beginning of the anhepatic period as well as 0, 1, 3, 5, 15, and 60 minutes after graft reperfusion. Results Of the 35 pediatric liver recipients, 2 infants and 1 13-month-old child were excluded from the analysis because of radial arterial catheter malfunction. The remaining 32 patients including 16 infants and 16 children all showed significantly higher systolic and mean FABP than RABP during most stages of pediatric OLT. Overall diastolic FABP measurements were similar to diastolic RABP throughout the study. Conclusions Systolic and mean FABP were significantly higher than RABP during most stages of pediatric OLT. Radial arterial catheter malfunctions were not uncommon during pediatric OLT. Our results indicated that it is useful to cannulate the femoral artery to accurately and reliably measure arterial blood pressure to detect hemodynamic instability during pediatric OLT.