Infants are thought to be more immunoreactive and at a greater risk for developing irreversible rejection compared with older children. We investigated this by analyzing patient and graft survival rates, incidence of acute rejection, reversibility of acute rejection, development of a subsequent acute rejection, and incidence of graft loss due to rejection in 154 children (<18 years of age) after primary renal transplantation. Most patients (n = 139) were treated with quadruple immunosuppression (antibody, azathioprine, prednisone, cyclosporine). Treatment of the first acute rejection episode (ARE) consisted of antibody and increased prednisone (68%) or increased prednisone alone (30%), and was not significantly different between the age groups. Transplants were from living donors (LRD) in 80% of cases. Patients were followed for at least 1 year (mean 58±30 months); 68% (105/154) of recipients experienced 1 or more ARE. The incidence of ARE was significantly lower in patients <2 years of age (45%) compared with patients 2-5 (76%, P = 0.01), 6-12 (78%, P = 0.005), and 13-17 (76%, P = 0.009) years of age. There was no significant difference in the 1-, 2- and 5-year patient or graft survival rates, the development of a subsequent acute rejection, or the incidence of graft loss due to acute rejection when analyzed by age group. These data suggest that the impact of an ARE is similar for younger and older children in our population receiving predominantly LRD transplants and quadruple immunosuppression.
- Graft rejection
- Renal transplantation