Background: Pediatric renal replacement therapy (RRT) patients surviving long-term are at a much higher risk of mortality compared with the age-matched general population. Recently, we demonstrated a transition from cardiovascular disease to infection as the main cause of death in a long-term follow-up study of pediatric RRT. Here, we explore the burden of infections requiring hospitalization over 30 years of follow-up on RRT.
Methods: The cohort comprised all 234 Dutch patients on RRT under 15 years of age between 1972 and 1992. We analyzed infection-related hospitalizations during the period 1980–2010. We evaluated the Hospital Admission Rate (HAR) per patient-years (py) and infectious over noninfectious HAR ratio (HARR).
Results: The HAR decreased significantly over time for all patients. The rate of hemodialysis-related infections decreased between 1980 and 1999, but stabilized during 2000–2010, whereas peritoneal dialysis-related infections decreased progressively. Transplantation-related infections did not change, except for urinary tract infections (UTIs), which increased significantly from 3.3/100 py [95%CI 3.2–3.4] in 1980–1989 to 4.4/100 py [4.2–4.5] in 2000–2010 (p <0.001). The contribution of infection to HAR increased significantly in transplanted patients (HARR: 1980–1989: 0.25 [0.2–0.3]; 2000–2010: 1.0 [0.79–1.27], p <0.001).
Conclusions: Our findings indicate a relative increase in infections requiring hospitalization over time in patients starting RRT during the pediatric age, especially severe UTIs in transplantation. More attention paid to urological abnormalities in cases of recurrent UTI and tailored adjustment of immunosuppression may reduce risk in these patients.