Background: Urologic complications cause substantial morbidity in the pediatric population after renal transplantation, but their impact on graft survival and transplant costs is poorly understood. In this retrospective review, we evaluated the records of all pediatric renal transplant recipients at our center from 1995 to 2004.
Methods: Patient demographics, presence of urinary leak, stricture, compression, or vesicoureteral reflux, and hospital costs were analyzed. Univariable analysis identified predictors of complications and of need for reoperation, and Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to assess graft survival in relation to urinary complications.
Results: One hundred forty-seven children received renal transplants; mean follow-up was 1478+/-965 days. Nine (6.1%) patients had urologic complications and seven (4.8%) patients developed vesicoureteral reflux requiring reoperation. Sex, ischemia time, race, previous transplant, donor type, nephrectomy technique, and stent use did not affect the incidence of urologic complications. Previous urologic reconstruction and pretransplant ureteral pathologic conditions increased the risk of urologic complication and vesicoureteral reflux. Patients with urologic complications had equivalent graft survival, but triple the hospital costs of unaffected recipients.
Conclusions: Prior urologic surgery is associated with increased risk of urologic complications posttransplant. Posttransplant urologic complications are associated with substantially increased costs in the first year after transplant, but not with decreased graft survival.