BACKGROUND: This study aimed to evaluate short- and long-term outcomes of kidney transplantation over 37 years in a national referral center and compare outcomes between Israeli Jewish and Arab children.
METHODS: Data on 599 pediatric transplantations performed in 545 children during 1981-2017, including demographic parameters, kidney failure disease profile, and pre-transplant dialysis duration, were retrieved from our computerized database and patient files. Patient and graft survival were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method.
RESULTS: Twenty-year patient survival was 91.4% for live donor (LD) and 80.2% for deceased donor (DD) kidney recipients. Respective 10-year and 20-year graft survival rates for first kidney-only transplants were 75.2% and 47.0% for LD and 60.7% and 38.4% for DD grafts. Long-term graft survival improved significantly (p < 0.001) over the study period for recipients of both LD and DD allografts and reached 7-year graft survival of 92.0% and 71.3%, respectively. The proportion of DD transplantations was higher in the Arab subpopulation: 73.8% vs. 48.4% (p < 0.001). Graft survival was not associated with age at transplantation and did not differ between the Arab (N = 202) and Jewish children (N = 343). Median (IQR) waiting time on dialysis did not differ significantly between the Arab and Jewish children: 18 (10-30) and 15 (9-30) months, respectively (p Mann-Whitney = 0.312).
CONCLUSIONS: Good and progressively improving long-term results were obtained in pediatric kidney transplantation at our national referral center, apparently due to expertise gained over time and advances in immunosuppression. Equal access to DD kidney transplant and similar graft survival were found between ethnic groups.
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