Pediatric renal transplantation and the dysfunctional bladder

Transpl Int. 2004 Nov;17(10):596-602. doi: 10.1007/s00147-004-0784-6. Epub 2004 Oct 29.


We retrospectively reviewed our long-term experience with pediatric renal transplantation into a dysfunctional lower urinary tract to evaluate graft survival, function, and special urological complications. Between 1967 and March 2000, a total of 349 renal transplantations were performed in children younger than 18 years. Malformations of the lower urinary tract were the reasons for end-stage renal failure in 66 children (18.6%). The cause of urinary tract disorders included: meningomyelocele connected with neuropathic bladder (n = 4 transplantations); prune belly syndrome (n = 5 transplantations); VATER association (n = 2 transplantations); posterior urethral valves (n = 27 transplantations); and vesico-uretero-renal reflux (n = 28 transplantations). The majority of the patients underwent surgical interventions to preserve renal function or to prepare renal transplantation. The 1- and 5-year graft survival rate was evaluated with special reference to the underlying disease. The 1-year graft survival rate in all children with lower urinary tract malformations was 83.3%, compared with 88% for all children. In those children with vesico-ureteral reflux, it was 92.8% and in the children with Vater association and prune belly syndrome, it was 85.7%. One graft was lost in the children who had neurogenic bladder, so the 1-year graft survival rate was 75%. The worst 1-year graft survival rate was obtained for boys who had posterior urethral valves (1-year graft survival rate: 74%; 5-year graft survival rate: 62.9%). Concerning the 5-year graft survival rate, it was 70% for all children with malformations of the urinary tract. The best rate was obtained for children with reflux in the native kidneys (78.5%), followed by those with VATER association and prune belly syndrome. As an additional child with neurogenic bladder lost his graft, the 5-year graft survival rate was 50%. Pediatric renal transplantation into a dysfunctional bladder can be connected with high urological complication rates which may contribute to worse graft survival. The 1- and 5-year graft survival rate in children with malformations of the lower urinary tract is worse than in children without bladder dysfunction. We regarded a striking difference between graft survival and the urological disorders which led to renal insufficiency. We obtained the worst graft survival rates in children with posterior urethral valves which are usually connected with bladder emptying problems and dysfunctional voiding. Potential pediatric transplant recipients must be classified according to pathophysiological as well as anatomical abnormalities of the urinary tract and all urological problems have to be solved prior to transplantation. At our center, living donors are favored to plan transplantation of these children properly.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / etiology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / surgery*
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Postoperative Period
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Urinary Bladder / physiopathology
  • Urinary Bladder Diseases / complications*
  • Urinary Diversion
  • Urologic Diseases / complications
  • Urologic Diseases / etiology