Background: Registry data can be used to assess associations between medical and health-policy factors and the likelihood of children on renal replacement therapy (RRT) to live with a functioning kidney transplant in Europe.
Methods: A survey questionnaire was distributed among renal registry representatives in 38 European countries, and additional data was obtained from the European Society for Pediatric Nephrology/European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association (ESPN/ERA-EDTA) registry.
Results: Thirty-two countries with a pediatric RRT program responded. The median percentage of children by country on RRT with a functioning transplant was 62 % (interquartile range 39-77). One per million population increase in donation rate from deceased donors was associated with a 5 % increase in the percentage of functioning transplants; the existence of an intermediate and high pediatric priority policy doubled and tripled this percentage, respectively, compared with no priority, whereas an increase in living donor pediatric kidney transplant rate of one per million children was associated with a 14 % higher percentage of functioning transplants. The percentage of functioning transplants was also strongly associated with the gross domestic product (GDP).
Conclusion: Considerable variations exist in the percentages of prevalent pediatric RRT populations with functioning renal transplants across Europe. A macroeconomic indicator such as GDP is the most important determinant of these international differences. Efforts should be made for living donation programs and pediatric allocation priority to increase access to kidney transplantation for children.