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Transplantation. 2006 Oct 27;82(8):1046-50.

Waiting time and outcome of kidney transplantation in adolescents.

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Department of Nephrology, Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick, Australia.



The major cause of late graft failure in adolescent kidney transplant recipients is thought to be nonadherence with medications. Delaying transplantation in adolescents may lead to improved adherence but at the cost of longer time on dialysis. To determine if waiting time on dialysis is a risk factor for graft survival in adolescents, we compared the outcomes of kidney transplants according to age and time on dialysis.


We analyzed data from the Australian and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry on 2,739 primary kidney transplants performed between 1980 and 2004 in recipients less than 30 years old. Outcomes according to age at transplantation and waiting time were analyzed by Kaplan-Meier curves, log-rank tests, and Cox proportional hazard tests.


Overall five- and 10-year graft survival rates were significantly worse in adolescents (65% and 50%, respectively) compared to recipients aged two to 10 years (74% and 58%) and 20 to 29 years (72% and 57%). Waiting time on dialysis was an independent risk factor for failure of living donor grafts in adolescents (hazard ratio 0.53, P = 0.03). Five- and 10-year graft survival of preemptive grafts in adolescents were 82% and 70%, respectively, which were similar to survival rates of preemptive grafts in other age groups.


Reduced graft survival rates in adolescent recipients are not seen after preemptive transplants. Preemptive grafts are associated with a 50% reduction in the risk of graft failure. Delaying transplantation in adolescents may expose them to increased risk of poorer outcomes.

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