Pediatric transplantation in the United States, 1996-2005

Am J Transplant. 2007;7(5 Pt 2):1339-58. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2007.01780.x.


Solid organ transplantation is accepted as a standard lifesaving therapy for end-stage organ failure in children. This article reviews trends in pediatric transplantation from 1996 to 2005 using OPTN data analyzed by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. Over this period, children have contributed significantly to the donor pool, and although the number of pediatric donors has fallen from 1062 to 900, this still accounts for 12% of all deceased donors. In 2005, 2% of 89,884 candidates listed for transplantation were less than 18 years old; in 2005, 1955 children, or 7% of 28,105 recipients, received a transplant. Improvement in waiting list mortality is documented for most organs, but pretransplant mortality, especially among the youngest children, remains a concern. Posttransplant survival for both patients and allografts similarly has shown improvement throughout the period; in most cases, survival is as good as or better than that seen in adults. Examination of immunosuppressive practices shows an increasing tendency across organs toward tacrolimus-based regimens. In addition, use of induction immunotherapy in the form of anti-lymphocyte antibody preparations, especially the interleukin-2 receptor antagonists, has increased steadily. Despite documented advances in care and outcomes for children undergoing transplantation, several considerations remain that require attention as we attempt to optimize transplant management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression / methods
  • Kidney Transplantation / mortality
  • Kidney Transplantation / statistics & numerical data
  • Liver Transplantation / mortality
  • Liver Transplantation / statistics & numerical data
  • Lung Transplantation / mortality
  • Lung Transplantation / statistics & numerical data
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tissue Donors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Transplantation / mortality
  • Transplantation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Transplantation / trends
  • Transplantation Immunology
  • United States
  • Waiting Lists