Outcomes of Steroid-Avoidance Protocols in Pediatric Kidney Transplant Recipients

Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH Division of Nephrology, St. Louis University at Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center, St. Louis, MO.
American Journal of Transplantation (Impact Factor: 6.19). 09/2012; 12(12). DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2012.04278.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Advances in immunosuppression have facilitated increased use of steroid-avoidance protocols in pediatric kidney transplantation. To evaluate such steroid avoidance, a retrospective cohort analysis of pediatric kidney transplant recipients between 2002 and 2009 in the United Network for Organ Sharing database was performed. Outcomes (acute rejection and graft loss) in steroid-based and steroid-avoidance protocols were assessed in 4627 children who received tacrolimus and mycophenolate immunosuppression and did not have multiorgan transplants. Compared to steroid-based protocols, steroid avoidance was associated with decreased risk of acute rejection at 6 months posttransplant (8.3% vs. 10.9%, p = 0.02) and improved 5-year graft survival (84% vs. 78%, p < 0.001). However, patients not receiving steroids experienced less delayed graft function (p = 0.01) and pretransplant dialysis, were less likely to be African-American and more frequently received a first transplant from a living donor (all p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, steroid avoidance trended toward decreased acute rejection at 6 months, but this no longer reached statistical significance, and there was no association of steroid avoidance with graft loss. We conclude that, in clinical practice, steroid avoidance appears safe with regard to graft rejection and loss in pediatric kidney transplant recipients at lower immunologic risk.

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    ABSTRACT: Purpose of review Renal transplantation in childhood is a well established procedure with excellent short-term outcomes. However, waiting times for transplantation are still relatively long if living donation cannot be performed, and long-term outcomes after transplantation have not significantly improved during the last decade. Recent findings This review describes alternative modalities to improve donation rates such as en bloc kidney transplantation from young donors, ABO-incompatible transplantation and kidney paired donation. This review also deals with long-term post-transplant morbidities, such as follows: first, medication side-effects ( metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease) and with the benefits of steroid and calcineurin inhibitor drug minimization; second, the deleterious impact of viral infections and their management and third, chronic antibody-mediated rejection, its therapeutic and prevention possibilities. Summary Donor shortage and long-term morbidities, after transplantation, are still relevant issues in paediatric renal transplantation medicine. Significant research and efforts have been made to advance the field and create novel approaches for improvement of transplantation rates and post-transplant graft or patient survival. These modalities are to be established in the routine setting.
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