Purpose: Renal transplantation in children with end stage renal disease due to congenital urological malformations has traditionally been associated with a poor outcome compared to transplantation in those with a normal urinary tract. In addition, the optimal urological treatment for such children remains unclear. To address these issues, we retrospectively reviewed our experience with renal transplantation in this population.
Materials and methods: Between 1986 and 1998, 12 boys and 6 girls a mean age of 8.4 years with a severe dysfunctional lower urinary tract underwent a total of 15 living related and 6 cadaveric renal transplantations. Urological anomalies included posterior urethral valves in 8 cases, urogenital sinus anomalies in 4, the prune-belly syndrome in 2, and complete bladder duplication, ureterocele, lipomeningocele and the VATER syndrome in 1 each. In 11 children (61%) bladder augmentation or continent urinary diversion was performed, 2 (11%) have an intestinal conduit and 5 (28%) have a transplant into the native bladder.
Results: In this group patient and overall allograft survival was 100 and 81%, respectively. These values were the same in all children who underwent renal transplantation at our center during this era. In the 17 children with a functioning transplant mean serum creatinine was 1.4 mg./dl. Technical complications occurred in 4 patients (22%), including transplant ureteral obstruction in 2 as well as intestinal conduit stomal stenosis and Mitrofanoff stomal incontinence.
Conclusions: Renal transplantation may be successfully performed in children with end stage renal disease due to severe lower urinary tract dysfunction. Bladder reconstruction, which may be required in the majority of these cases, appears to be safe when performed before or after the transplant. A multidisciplinary team approach to surgery is advantageous.