Systemic arterial hypertension is a common complication among transplanted patients. The objective of this study was to investigate the risk factors for arterial hypertension after kidney transplantation in children. A retrospective study was carried out of 70 kidney transplants performed on patients under 18 years of age at the Hospital do Rim and Hipertensão, from January 1998 to June 2001. At the end of 6 months post transplant, the patients were classified into either normotensive (n=31) or hypertensive (n=39) groups. The following potential risk factors for arterial hypertension were studied: (1) hypertension before transplantation; (2) the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) at 1, 3, and 6 months post transplant; (3) acute rejection episodes; (4) cumulative dose of corticosteroids; (5) the presence of native kidneys; (6) symptomatic renal artery stenosis; (7) cold ischemia time greater than 24 h; (8) age and sex of the donor; (9) age of the recipient; (10) transplant type (living related or cadaveric donor); (11) the body mass index of recipients at the end of the follow-up period; and (12) delayed graft function. The two groups were comparable in terms of the etiology of renal insufficiency, age, gender, and immunosuppressive drugs. Among the risk factors studied, the sole factor showing a statistically significant association with arterial hypertension was the GFR at 3 and 6 months after transplantation. In the group of normotensive patients, GFRs were 92±29 and 83±20 ml/min per 1.73 m2 at 3 and 6 months, respectively, whereas in the hypertensive patients, GFRs were 74±23 and 70±21 ml/min per 1.73 m2 respectively. Hence, only the lower GFR can be considered a risk factor for hypertension in children within our sample. However, arterial hypertension might be a risk factor for the early onset of chronic allograft nephropathy; in this case, hypertension should be considered the cause of lower glomerular filtration. Our data do not permit us to distinguish between these two hypotheses. The known risk factors for hypertension following renal transplantation in adults were not confirmed in the present study. It remains unclear to us as to whether this means the etiology of hypertension differs in children, or if this is the result of a bias in patient selection.
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