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Pediatr Transplant. 2003 Dec;7(6):479-83.

Outcome after renal transplantation in children: results of follow-up by nephrologists in a primary referral center.

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Division of Nephrology, Schneider Children's Hospital of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Long Island Campus for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New Hyde Park, NY 11040-1432, USA.


Pediatric patients who receive a kidney transplant require extended follow-up to monitor graft function and for management of complications. Because of convenience, most patients are sent back to the nephrologists who referred them for transplantation (the primary nephrologist) for long-term care. As a consequence, many pediatric nephrologists who provide this extended care are not associated with a transplant center. It is not known if this arrangement yields satisfactory outcomes for children and adolescents who receive a kidney transplant. The objective was to determine if clinical outcomes are satisfactory in pediatric renal transplant recipients who were followed up by their primary nephrologists after the procedure. A chart review was carried out on all renal transplant recipients seen in the renal clinic at Schneider Children's Hospital (SCH) from 1982 to 2001. Patients were eligible if they were followed up by the primary referring nephrologists at SCH for a minimum of 6 months after transplantation. Relevant demographic and clinical outcome data were compiled. Twenty-eight patients who received a total of 33 renal allografts [living related donors (LRD) 15 and cadaveric donors (CD) 18] were seen during the study period. The transplantations in 19 children (68%) were carried out at Montefiore Hospital (Bronx, NY, USA), while the rest were performed at other centers. There were three (11%) deaths, two LRD patients and one CD patient. The group of 25 surviving patients consisted of 17 males and eight females, age range 4-28 yr (mean 17.2 yr). The mean duration of renal allograft survival was 6.3 +/- 5.3 yr and the mean duration of follow-up was 6.1 +/- 5.3 yr. The most recent serum creatinine ranged from 0.5 to 3.8 mg/dL with a mean of 1.3 +/- 0.8 mg/dL. There were several complications including acute rejection, renal artery stenosis, and hydronephrosis in the allograft. The team of primary referring nephrologists successfully treated all of these except the child with hydronephrosis. The primary nephrologist who refers pediatric patients to a tertiary care transplant center can accomplish long-term follow-up of renal transplant recipients after discharge from the transplant center. The clinical outcomes are acceptable and compare favorably with the results described in the literature that have been achieved in patients followed up at transplant centers. Problems rarely developed that required referral back to the transplant center for management. This approach to care is recommended because it is more likely to foster compliance by both patients and parents.

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