Original Article

Pediatric Nephrology

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 125-132

First online:

Racial disparities in paediatric kidney transplantation

  • Blair S. GraceAffiliated withAustralia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry (ANZDATA)Discipline of Medicine, University of Adelaide Email author 
  • , Sean E. KennedyAffiliated withDepartment of Nephrology, Sydney Children’s HospitalSchool of Women’s and Children’s Health, University of New South Wales
  • , Philip A. ClaytonAffiliated withAustralia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry (ANZDATA)Department of Renal Medicine, Royal Prince Alfred HospitalSydney Medical School, University of Sydney
  • , Stephen P. McDonaldAffiliated withAustralia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry (ANZDATA)Discipline of Medicine, University of Adelaide

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Transplantation is the preferred treatment for children with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). Pre-emptive transplants, those from live donors and with few human leukocyte antigen (HLA) mismatches provide the best outcomes. Studies into disparities in paediatric transplantation to date have not adequately disentangled different transplant types.


We studied a retrospective cohort of 823 patients aged <18 years who started renal replacement therapy (RRT) in Australia 1990–2011, using the Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry (ANZDATA). The primary outcomes were time to first kidney transplant and kidney donor type (deceased or living), analysed using competing risk regression.


Caucasian patients were most likely to receive any transplant, due largely to disparities in live donor transplantation. No Indigenous patients received a pre-emptive transplant. Indigenous patients were least likely to receive a transplant from a live donor (sub-hazard ratio 0.41, 95 % confidence interval 0.20–0.82, compared to Caucasians). Caucasian recipients had fewer HLA mismatches, were less sensitised and were more likely to have kidney diseases that could be diagnosed early or progress slowly.


Caucasian paediatric patients are more likely to receive optimum treatment—a transplant from a living donor and fewer HLA mismatches. Further work is required to identify and address barriers to live donor transplantation among minority racial groups.


Australian Aborigine Competing risks Kidney transplantation Organ donation Paediatric