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Small Split Pediatric Kidneys to Expand the Donor Pool

An Analysis of Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) Data

Suneja, Manish MD1; Kuppachi, Sarat MD1; Katz, Daniel MD2; Hunsicker, Lawrence MD1

doi: 10.1097/TP.0000000000002706
Original Clinical Science—General

Background. Increased use of pediatric deceased donor kidneys could enlarge the deceased donor kidney pool. Kidney transplant outcomes from small pediatric donors were compared with those from ideal kidney (IK) and expanded criteria kidney (ECK) donors to understand the optimal use of pediatric donor kidneys.

Methods. Kaplan-Meier analyses compared long-term patient and death-censored graft survival of en bloc kidney (EBK) and split kidney (SpK) transplants from small pediatric donors (aged ≤8 y and weight <30 kg) with those from IK and ECK. Posttransplant serum creatinine) was compared among these cohorts. Deceased donor kidney disposition was determined from small pediatric donors with ≥1 organ transplanted.

Results. Patient and death-censored graft survival were similar among recipients of IK, EBK, and SpK transplants, and were superior to those of recipients of ECK. EBK and SpK transplants from donors 5–30 kg had first-year graft loss similar to ECK. Long-term graft survival and serum creatinine with kidneys from SpK donors >10 kg were better than that with ECK donors. About 3901 transplants were performed from 3660 pediatric donors (53% yield).

Conclusions. Pediatric kidneys can augment the kidney donor pool and should not be considered ECK. If 90% of kidneys from donors (aged ≤8 y and weight <30 kg) with ≥1 organ transplanted been used (as SpK when >10 kg) an additional 159 kidney transplants per year could have been performed. Expanding the use of pediatric kidneys should be further explored by the transplant community.

1 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA.

2 Department of Surgery, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA.

Received 9 July 2018. Revision received 29 January 2019.

Accepted 1 February 2019.

The authors declare no funding of conflicts of interest.

M.S., S.K., D.K., and L.H. participated in research design. M.S., S.K., and L.H. participated in writing of the article. M.S. and L.H. participated in data analysis.

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Correspondence: Manish Suneja, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA 52242. (

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