Cadaveric renal transplants in children under 6 years of age.
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Thirty-nine cadaveric renal allografts were performed in 28 children under 6 years of age. Common primary renal diseases were glomerulonephritis, dysplasia/hypoplasia, and reflux/obstructive nephropathy. After a mean follow-up of 40 months of patients with surviving grafts, 19 patients had functioning grafts, 3 had returned to dialysis, and 6 had died. These children required an extraordinary amount of care postoperatively because of anorexia, diarrhea, and ileus. Their psychomotor and physical development was retarded prior to transplant; this reversed dramatically after transplant, but catch-up growth occurred in only 4 patients. Many patients were noticeably more active and distractible for 1 to 2 years post-transplant. Major causes of graft failure were primary nonfunction of 5 donor kidneys (4 from donors under 1 year old) and renal vessel thrombosis in 5 recipients (3 with native kidneys in place who received kidneys from donors over 10 years old). Other causes were recurrence of hemolytic uremic syndrome and Wilms tumor, rejection, and sepsis. Kidneys from donors under 1 year old proved unsatisfactory, and large donor kidneys in small children tended to thrombose, especially when native kidneys with high urine output were left in situ.
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