BK DNAemia in pediatric kidney transplant recipients: Predictors and outcomes

Jamee Schoephoerster, Chelsey Jensen, Scott Jackson, Emilee Plautz, Shanthi Balani, Anne Kouri, Sarah J. Kizilbash

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BACKGROUND: Pediatric data on risk factors and the clinical course of BK DNAemia are limited. We aimed to determine the effects of BK DNAemia on transplant outcomes and delineate the safety and efficacy of various treatment approaches.

METHODS: This retrospective-cohort study included 161 transplants (age ≤ 21 years) performed at a single center between 1/1/2012 and 1/1/2020. We used Cox proportional models to evaluate the effects of BK DNAemia on patient survival (PS), graft survival (GS), and acute rejection (AR), using BK as a time-dependent covariate. We also assessed the effects of pharmacological intervention on BK DNAemia duration using intervention as a time-dependent covariate.

RESULTS: BK-free survival was 69.1% at 1-year and 54.6% at 3-year posttransplant. After multivariate adjustment, BK DNAemia was associated with young age at transplant (aHR, age 5-<12 vs. ≥12 (years): 2.5 (1.4-4.5); p = .001) and steroid-based immunosuppression (IS) (aHR: 2.2 [1.1-4.5]; p = .03). We found no effect of DNAemia on AR (aHR: 1.25; p = .5), PS (aHR: 2.85; p = .22), and GS (aHR: 0.56; p = .41). Of 70 patients with DNAemia, 22 (31.4%) received no treatment, 20 (28.6%) received IS reduction alone, and 28 patients (40%) received treatment with at least one pharmacological agent (leflunomide, IVIG, ciprofloxacin, cidofovir). Sixty-three patients (90%) cleared DNAemia with median time to resolution of 2.4 months (IQR:1.4-5.6). We found no significant effect of BK-directed pharmacological treatment on time to resolution (aHR: 0.64;p = .13). BK-directed agents were well tolerated.

CONCLUSIONS: BK DNAemia is associated with a young age at transplant and steroid-based maintenance IS. We found no effect of BK DNAemia on AR, GS, and PS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14372
JournalPediatric transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Pediatric Transplantation published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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