Pre-transplant blood transfusion and renal allograft outcome: a report of the North American Pediatric Renal Transplant Cooperative Study.
Data from the North American Pediatric Renal Transplant Cooperative Study were analyzed to determine the effect of pre-transplant blood transfusions on graft survival and acute rejection for pediatric renal transplant recipients. Between January 1, 1987 and November 11, 1995, 4015 renal transplants in children <18 years of age (2007 living donor, 2008 cadaver) were registered in the study. Recipients were grouped by number of pre-transplant blood transfusions (0, n=1171; 1-5, n=1796; >5, n=1048). The risks of graft failure and acute rejection were related to number of pre-transplant transfusions by proportional hazards regression analysis. Models were adjusted for recipient age, sex, race, induction therapy, prior dialysis, prior transplant, HLA-DR mismatching, and transplant year. Additionally, the living donor (LD) model was adjusted for the use of donor-specific blood transfusion, and the cadaver donor (CAD) model was adjusted for donor age and cold storage time. The risk of graft failure was increased in LD (p<0.001) and CAD (p=0.001) recipients who received >5 pre-transplant transfusions. There was no significant difference in the causes of graft loss between groups. The risk of a first acute rejection decreased in LD recipients who received 1-5 blood transfusions compared with 0 (p=0.04) or >5 (p=0.003) and in CAD recipients who received 1-5 compared with 0 (p=0.05). We conclude that multiple (>5) pre-transplant blood transfusions are a risk factor for graft failure in pediatric recipients and should be avoided. However, limited blood transfusions (1-5) are associated with a decreased risk of acute rejection. Our data show that for pediatric recipients the number of pre-transplant blood transfusions is an important factor in transplant outcome.