Background: Given the shortage of donor kidneys, the use of grafts from deceased infant donors is a potential approach to expand the donor pool. Four infant en bloc kidney transplants in pediatric recipients were reported, performed between 2012 and 2013 in the center.
Methods: The en bloc graft was implanted extraperitoneally in the right iliac fossa. The distal end of the donor aorta was anastomosed end-to-end to the internal iliac artery, while the donor vena cava was anastomosed (end-to-side) to the external iliac vein. Both ureters were anastomosed individually to the bladder, with the exception of one case in which a donor bladder patch was anastomosed to the bladder. After the operation, the recipients received basiliximab as induction therapy followed by tacrolimus and mycophenolic acid for immunosuppression. Prophylactic anticoagulation was used postoperatively.
Results: Recipients included two girls and two boys with age ranging from 4.6 to 11.6 years. Donor age ranged from 33 to 56 days with weight ranging from 2.5 to 5.0 kg. After a follow-up of 2 to 14 months, patient and graft survivals were 100% and 75%, respectively. Complications included delayed graft function in one patient, urine leak in one, and anticoagulation-related hemorrhage in one. One graft was lost early from vascular thrombosis. The remaining three recipients had excellent graft function with median serum creatinine of 1.1 mg/dL (range, 0.8-1.3 mg/dL) at last follow-up.
Conclusions: Promising outcomes can be obtained from en bloc transplantation from infant donors. The use of this donor population for pediatric recipients should be encouraged.