Evaluation of serial monthly estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) may be useful for studying pediatric renal allograft outcome. To determine the validity of this approach, we reviewed our single-center experience in pediatric renal transplant recipients to determine the effect of risk factors for renal allograft failure on eGFR. Clinical parameters recorded monthly through 5 years post transplant allowed serial assessment of eGFR. Monthly clinical data included height, weight, serum creatinine, cumulative number of acute rejection episodes, cyclosporine dose, and cyclosporine trough levels. From these data, eGFR was calculated monthly for each patient using the Schwartz formula. Time post transplant was grouped in 6-month intervals and plotted against mean eGFR to compare eGFR in patients grouped by demographic and clinical factors; 1,786 monthly data sets from 6 months post transplant (n=76 patients) to 5 years post transplant (n=25 patients) were analyzed. Overall mean eGFR from 6 months to 1 year was 75 ml/min per 1.73 m(2) and from 4. 5 to 5 years 46 ml/min per 1.73 m(2). eGFR was lower at all time intervals for recipients of cadaver versus living-related donor grafts, and patients with >/=1 versus 0 acute rejections (P<0.01). After 1 year, eGFR was lower in black patients compared with white or Hispanic patients (P<0.01). Cyclosporine dose greater than 5 mg/kg per day was associated with better early and worse late graft function. These results are similar to those reported in multi-center studies using the outcome variable of graft failure and suggest that serial eGFR may be valid as an outcome variable to study chronic renal allograft dysfunction in children.