Growth following solid organ transplantation in childhood

Pediatr Transplant. 2014 Mar;18(2):134-41. doi: 10.1111/petr.12219. Epub 2014 Jan 20.


One of the ultimate goals of successful transplantation in pediatric solid organ transplant recipients is the attainment of optimal final adult height. This manuscript will discuss the attainment of height following solid organ transplantation in pediatric recipients of kidney, liver, heart, lung, and small bowel transplantation. Age is a primary factor with younger recipients exhibiting the greatest immediate catch up growth. Graft function is a significant contributory factor with a reduction in glomerular filtration rate correlating with poor growth in kidney recipients and the need for re-transplantation with impaired growth in liver recipients. The known adverse impact of steroids on growth has led to modification of steroid dosage and even to steroid withdrawal and steroid avoidance. In kidney and liver recipients, this has been associated with the development on occasion of acute rejection episodes. In infant heart transplantation, avoidance of maintenance corticosteroid immunosuppression is associated with normal growth velocity in the majority of patients. With marked improvement in patient and graft survival rates in pediatric organ graft recipients, it is timely that the quality of life issues, such as normal adult height, receive paramount attention. In general, normal growth post-transplantation should be an achievable goal that results in normal adult height for many solid organ transplantation recipients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Age Factors
  • Body Height
  • Child
  • Child Development*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Graft Survival
  • Growth Disorders / complications
  • Growth Disorders / etiology*
  • Heart Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression Therapy / adverse effects
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intestine, Small / transplantation
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Liver Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Lung Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Organ Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones