, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 257-264
Date: 04 Nov 2005

Long-term outcome of chronic dialysis in children

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We describe the outcome since 1984 of all children receiving chronic dialysis in our centre for >3 months with a minimum follow-up of 5 (median 7.2) years. There were 98 children (61 boys), with a median age at the start of dialysis of 4.2 (range: birth to 16.2) years. Twenty-one children started dialysis at <1 year of age and 54 under <5 years. Thirty children had significant comorbidity. The median time on dialysis was 1.4 (0.3 to 14.4) years, giving a total dialysis experience of 296 patient-years. Fifty-three children received a renal transplant as their first change of treatment modality, but 31 switched between PD and HD, with a total of 54 changes of dialysis modality pre-transplantation. Twenty-one of the transplanted patients (39%) returned to dialysis. There were a total of 115 transplants in 88 patients. There was a positive increase for both the weight and height SDS for all the age groups while on dialysis, but this did not reach statistical significance. There were 17 deaths over the 20-year study period; of these, 10 died on dialysis. The overall patient survival was 83%. The mortality rate was 2.7 times greater in children who required renal replacement therapy under the age of 5 years. Of the deaths, 76% were in association with comorbid conditions. In conclusion, both a younger age at the start of renal replacement therapy and comorbidity are significant risk factors for death. The number of returnees to dialysis highlights the importance of conserving dialysis access.