Better renal function with enhanced immunosuppression and protocol biopsies after kidney transplantation in children

Authors

  • Paula Seikku,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
    2. Pediatric Nephrology and Transplantation, Hospital for Children and Adolescents, University of Helsinki, Finland
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  • Leena Krogerus,

    1. Department of Pathology, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
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  • Hannu Jalanko,

    1. Pediatric Nephrology and Transplantation, Hospital for Children and Adolescents, University of Helsinki, Finland
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  • Christer Holmberg

    1. Department of Pediatrics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
    2. Pediatric Nephrology and Transplantation, Hospital for Children and Adolescents, University of Helsinki, Finland
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Paula Seikku, MD MSc (Physics), Hospital for Children and Adolescents Pediatric Nephrology and Transplantation University of Helsinki, PB 281, FIN-00029 HUS, Finland
Tel.: +358-9-47173702
Fax: +358-9-47174703
E-mail: paula.seikku@hus.fi.

Abstract

Abstract:  Subclinical rejection may be associated with decreased graft function after renal transplantation (Tx). Detection by protocol biopsies and treatment could thus be important for the long-term prognosis. We have earlier discovered that glomerular filtration rate (GFR) declined in young children during the first 18 months. Consequently, we slightly enhanced and individualized each patient's immunosuppression. This was a retrospective study of 59 pediatric renal Tx patients between 1995 and 2001. The 35 historical controls received triple-therapy of azathioprine, methylprednisolone and cyclosporine. GFR was measured by protocol at discharge, 6 and 18 months, and a core biopsy was obtained at 18 months. The 24 study patients in addition received basiliximab, had GFR measured at 3 and 12 months, and a biopsy taken at 3 months. Based on histology and function, immunosuppression was individually adjusted. The groups were compared for GFR and histology at 18 months after Tx. There were less acute rejection episodes in the study group (0.38 vs. 1.23 per patient) and serum creatinine concentrations were lower. Subclinical rejection was detected and treated in 39% at 3 months. There were more chronic changes in the control (47%) than in the study group (29%) at 18 months. GFR was significantly higher in the study group at 18 months (87 vs. 68 mL/min/1.73 m2), most remarkably in patients ≤2 yr of age (99 vs. 68 mL/min/1.73 m2). Detection of subclinical rejection and slightly enhanced and individualized immunosuppression improved GFR 18 months after renal Tx, especially in the youngest patients.

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