(HealthDay News) — Over the last 25 years, pediatric kidney transplantation outcomes have improved in the United States, according to a study published online March 10 in Pediatrics.

Kyle J. Van Arendonk, MD, PhD, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues examined changes in pediatric kidney transplant outcomes over time using data from 17,446 pediatric kidney-only transplants performed in the United States between 1987–2012.

The researchers found that after transplantation in 2001, the 10-year patient and graft survival rates were 90.5 and 60.2%, compared with 77.6 and 46.8% after transplantation in 1987. Following transplantation in 2001 and 1987, primary nonfunction and delayed graft function occurred in 3.3 and 5.3% of transplants and in 15.4 and 19.7% of transplants, respectively. These improvements corresponded with reductions in the hazard of graft loss and death (5% each), and with reductions in the odds of primary nonfunction and delayed graft function (10 and 5%) with each more recent year of transplantation, after adjustment for recipient, donor, and transplant characteristics. The most pronounced improvements in both patient and graft survival were seen in the first posttransplant year.

“Outcomes after pediatric kidney transplantation have improved dramatically over time for all recipient subgroups, especially for highly sensitized recipients,” conclude the authors.

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