Adolescents and young adults appear to be a particularly high-risk group for problems of non-compliance and associated graft loss. We reviewed the progress of 20 young adults (9 female) who had been transferred to three different adult centres at a mean age of 17.9 years (range 15.7-20.9 years) having been transplanted at a mean age of 14.3 years (range 9.6-18.1 years) in the paediatric unit. Eight transplants failed within 36 months of transfer, and in 7 of 20 (35%) the transplant failure was unexpected (3 < 12 months, 3 12-24 months, 1 31 months post transfer). Although many of the patients had recognised problems in family dynamics, only 1 had had a major rejection episode prior to transfer due to admitted non-compliance. In 3 others low cyclosporin levels had been noted. Two young men had been transplanted preemptively in the paediatric unit at 15.3 and 16.7 years, and 3 patients had been transferred to the adult unit via the recently established transition clinic. The results suggest that close attention needs to be paid to this group of patients who require ongoing education and support. Improved dialogue between staff of the paediatric and adult units about transition issues is also essential.