Pediatric kidney retransplantation focused on surgical outcomes

J Pediatr Urol. 2022 Dec;18(6):847.e1-847.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpurol.2022.06.019. Epub 2022 Jun 25.


Introduction: Despite survival rates after pediatric kidney transplantation (KT) are on the rise it is still likely that most pediatric recipients will require more than one retransplant in their lifetime. The earlier the age at the first KT the higher is the risk of repeat pediatric kidney transplantation (RPKT).

Objective: The current study aims to analyze the outcomes of repeat pediatric kidney transplantation (RPKT) among pediatric kidney transplant recipients focusing on surgical complications and compare the outcomes of second and subsequent grafts with those of the first kidney graft.

Materials and methods: Retrospective study of RPKT (<18 years) undertaken between January 2000-2020. We analyzed primary etiology of renal disease, time to graft loss (GL), etiology of initial graft failure, history of acute rejection, previous delayed graft function, HLA-mismatches at the initial transplant, surgical complications and outcomes. Additionally, we compared the characteristics and outcomes of patients who underwent RPKT (group 1) with those who received a first kidney graft (group 2).

Results: Out of 229 kT, 59 patients underwent RPKT (26 females/33 males). At the time of RPKT median age was 11.37 years (SD:5.7). The most frequent primary renal disease was congenital nephrotic syndrome in 11 (18.6%). Fifty-four (91.5%) were on renal replacement therapy at the time of transplant. Fourty-one patients received their second KT (69.5%), 14 (23.7%) the third, 3 (5.1%) the fourth and 1 (1.7%) the fifth. Transplant graft nephrectomy (GN) was performed in 26 patients (44.1%) prior to retransplantation. Fifty-four (91.5%) received a cadaveric graft and 5 (8.5%) a living-related graft. An extraperitoneal approach was achieved in 53 patients (89.8%), whereas in the remaining 6 (10.2%) the graft was placed intraperitoneally. We observed 10 surgical complications (16.9%): 9 major which required reintervention and 1 minor (perirenal hematoma). No vascular complications were observed and none of the surgical complications were involved in graft loss. Graft survival at 1,3 and 5 years was 91%, 84% and 73% respectively. The most frequent cause of GL was chronic graft nephropathy in 15 (25.4%). After a mean follow-up of 9.40 years (SD: 4.7) only 2 patients died (3.4%), both with functioning grafts.

Discussion: Pediatric recipients of second and subsequent kidney grafts constitute a remarkable high-risk population but are becoming more frequent at reference pediatric transplant centers.

Conclusions: RPKT is technically challenging but can yield good results. In our series overall the incidence of surgical complications and particularly vascular complications was low.

Keywords: Graft survival; Kidney transplantation; Pediatric; Reoperation; Retransplantation.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Female
  • Graft Rejection / epidemiology
  • Graft Survival*
  • Humans
  • Kidney
  • Kidney Diseases*
  • Male
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome