Our center has offered thymoglobulin induction with steroid minimization to our pediatric renal transplant patients for the last 10 yr. Steroid minimization or avoidance has shown favorable results in survival, kidney function, and growth in previous studies of pediatric patients. We report our experience with this protocol over the past 10 yr with respect to patient/graft survival, acute rejection episodes, renal function, linear growth, bone density, cardiovascular risk factors, and opportunistic infections. A retrospective chart review was performed for pediatric renal transplant patients on the steroid-minimized protocol between January 2002 and December 2011 on an intention to treat basis. Patient demographics, height, weight, serum creatinine, iGFR, biopsies, and survival data were collected. Height and weight z-scores were calculated with EpiInfo 7, using the CDC 2000 growth charts. Survival was calculated using Kaplan-Meier analysis. eGFR was calculated using the original and modified Schwartz equations. Forty-four pediatric patients were identified, aged 13 months to 19 yr. Five-yr survival was 95.5% for males and 94.4% for females. Only five patients had biopsy-proven ACR, two of which were at more than 12 months post-transplantation. Height delta z-scores from transplant to one, three, and five yr were 0.34, 0.38, and 0.79, respectively. Weight delta z-scores from transplant to one, three, and five yr were 0.87, 0.79, and 0.84, respectively. Mean original Schwartz eGFR was 84.3 ± 15.8 mL/min/1.73 m, modified Schwartz eGFR was 59.3 ± 11.5 mL/min/1.73 m2, and iGFR was 64.2 ± 8.5 mL/min/1.73 m2 at three yr. Of 18 subjects who had a bone density exam, none had a z-score less than - 2 on DEXA exam at one-yr post-transplantation. Fifty-one percent of patients were on antihypertensives at the time of transplant compared with 43% at one-yr post-transplantation. Three yr posttransplantation, the average LDL was <100 mg/dL, and average total cholesterol was <200 mg/dL. There were no clinical episodes of EBV or CMV infection. A steroid-minimized protocol with thymoglobulin induction is safe and provides favorable improvement in linear growth, stable graft function, stable or improved cardiovascular risk factors, and normal bone density in pediatric renal transplant patients.
- Antibody induction
- Glomerular filtration rate
- Pediatric kidney transplantation
- Steroid withdrawal