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Am J Transplant. 2005 Apr;5(4 Pt 2):887-903.

Pediatric transplantation, 1994-2003.

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Children's Hospital of Boston, Boston, MA, USA.


This article uses OPTN/SRTR data to review trends in pediatric transplantation over the last decade. In 2003, children younger than 18 made up 3% of the 82,885 candidates for organ transplantation and 7% of the 25,469 organ transplant recipients. Children accounted for 14% of the 6,455 deceased organ donors. Pediatric organ transplant recipients differ from their adult counterparts in several important aspects, including the underlying etiology of organ failure, the complexity of the surgical procedures, the pharmacokinetic properties of common immunosuppressants, the immune response following transplantation, the number and degree of comorbid conditions, and the susceptibility to post-transplant complications, especially infectious diseases. Specialized pediatric organ transplant programs have been developed to address these special problems. The transplant community has responded to the particular needs of children and has provided them special consideration in the allocation of deceased donor organs. As a result of these programs and protocols, children are now frequently the most successful recipients of organ transplantation; their outcomes following kidney, liver, and heart transplantation rank among the best. This article demonstrates that substantial improvement is needed in several areas: adolescent outcomes, outcomes following intestine transplants, and waiting list mortality among pediatric heart and lung candidates.

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