August 1997

Superior Outcomes in Pediatric Renal Transplantation

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Salvatierra, Alfrey, and So and Ms Orlandi), Pediatrics (Drs Salvatierra, Tanney, Mak, Lemley, and Conley, and Ms Orlandi), and Anesthesia (Drs Hammer and Krane), Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, Calif.

Arch Surg. 1997;132(8):842-849. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1997.01430320044006

Background:  Nationally, results of renal transplantation in children, particularly in small children, are inferior to those obtained in adults.

Objective:  To determine factors important for success in renal transplantation in children.

Design:  Results of 108 consecutive renal transplantations performed in patients aged 7 months to 18 years were reviewed and compared with those reported by the North American Pediatric Renal Transplant Cooperative Study (NAPRTCS), the national registry.

Results:  One-, 2-, and 3-year graft survival rates (±SE) were 99%± 1%, 95%±3% and 93%±4%, respectively, for living donor grafts and 97%±3%, 92%±6%, and 92%±6%, respectively, for cadaver grafts. Incidence of acute rejection was half that reported by NAPRTCS. There were no graft losses for technical reasons (19% in NAPRTCS). Twelve percent of patients were younger than 2 years (6% in NAPRTCS); 17% were 2 to 5 years old (16% in NAPRTCS). Most small children received an adult-sized kidney. Ninety-three percent of recipients weighing 15 kg or less received postoperative mechanical ventilation assistance to optimize fluid resuscitation and perfusion of adult-sized kidneys. Structural abnormalities of the urinary tract were present in 53.7% of the patients (48.5% in NAPRTCS; adults, 5.3%). Nephroureterectomy was required in 38 children; in 27 (71%) of them, it was performed at the time of transplant surgery.

Conclusions:  Excellent results can be obtained in pediatric renal transplantation by strict adherence to surgical detail, tight immunosuppressive management, aggressive fluid management in the small child, and careful integration of urologic and transplant surgery.Arch Surg. 1997;132:842-849