Renal function in pediatric liver transplantation: a long-term follow-up study

Jérôme Harambat, Bruno Ranchin, Laurence Dubourg, Aurélia Liutkus, Aoumeur Hadj-Haïssa, Christine Rivet, Olivier Boillot, Alain Lachaux, Pierre Cochat
Transplantation 2008 October 27, 86 (8): 1028-34

BACKGROUND: Renal impairment is a frequent complication after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). However, most studies in children use inaccurate renal assessment based on serum creatinine, and long-term follow-up data are lacking. The purpose of this study was to determine incidence, determinants, and progression of long-term chronic renal insufficiency (CRI) in a single-center series of pediatric liver transplant recipients.

METHODS: The true glomerular filtration rate was measured by inulin clearance before and serially after OLT in 69 consecutive patients followed more than 2 years after transplantation. Cumulative incidence of CRI (glomerular filtration rate<60 mL/min/1.73 m2) was determined using a Kaplan-Meier method. A Cox proportional hazard model was performed to identify predictors of CRI.

RESULTS: The median age at OLT was 3.2 years. The median follow-up time after OLT was 9.3 years (interquartile range 6.3-11.9). At 10 years post-OLT, the cumulative incidence of CRI was 25%. In a multivariate Cox regression model, arterial hypertension during follow-up as time dependant variable (P=0.03), cyclosporine as primary immunosuppression (P=0.048), and liver diseases with potential renal involvement including inborn errors of metabolism, Alagille syndrome, and hepatic fibrosis (P=0.003) were associated with CRI.

CONCLUSIONS: Renal function is a major concern long after OLT in children. Renal dysfunction post-OLT may be reduced by optimal control of arterial hypertension, immunosuppression protocols adapted to primary liver disease, and calcineurin inhibitor sparing regimen.

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