Background: This study was conducted to evaluate the pubertal development in adolescents after renal transplantation (RTx) in childhood.
Methods: We performed a retrospective review of medical records of 109 RTx recipients (72 males) transplanted at the median age of 4.5 years (range: 0.9-15.8 years). Data on the clinical signs of puberty, growth, bone age, medication, and graft function of 98 patients were analyzed. Furthermore, serum levels of reproductive hormones in 87 patients were assessed to evaluate the progression and outcome of pubertal development.
Results: The age at the onset of puberty averaged 12.7 years (range: 9.4-16.2 years) in 55 males and 10.7 years (range: 8.9-12.7 years) in 29 females. The mean age at menarche was 12.5 years (range: 10.5-14.5 years). Twenty-two percent of the boys and none of the girls had a moderately delayed onset of puberty. Children who underwent RTx before the age of 5 years reached puberty earlier than those transplanted at later age (boys 12.3±1.2 vs. 13.4±1.5 years, P<0.01; girls 10.3±0.9 vs. 11.0±1.0 years, P>0.05). The mean length of puberty was 3.9 and 4.7 years for boys and girls, respectively. The bone age was delayed in practically all, and final height was reached at the mean age of 18.1 and 16.0 years in boys and girls, respectively. Pubertal maturation resulted in acceptable final height and reproductive hormone status in great majority of the patients.
Conclusion: Pubertal development was normal in all female and most male adolescents after RTx in childhood.