Growth after renal transplantation

Pediatr Nephrol. 2009 Jul;24(7):1297-306. doi: 10.1007/s00467-008-0787-0. Epub 2008 Mar 26.


Growth may be severely impaired in children with chronic renal insufficiency. Since short stature can have major consequences on quality of life and self-esteem, achieving a 'normal' height is a crucial issue for renal transplant recipients. However, despite successful renal transplantation, the final height attained by most recipients is not the calculated target height. Catch-up growth spurts post-transplantation are usually insufficient to compensate for the retardation in growth that has occurred during the pre-transplant period. Longitudinal growth post-transplantation is therefore influenced by the age at transplantation but also by subsequent allograft function and steroid exposure, both of which interfere with the growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor axis. The management of growth retardation in renal transplant recipients includes adequate nutritional intake, correction of metabolic acidosis, prevention of bone disease, steroid-sparing strategies and a supraphysiological dose of recombinant human growth hormone in selected cases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Body Height / physiology*
  • Child
  • Growth Disorders / etiology*
  • Growth Disorders / physiopathology
  • Growth Disorders / therapy
  • Human Growth Hormone / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / surgery
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects*


  • Human Growth Hormone