Pediatric Nephrology

, Volume 33, Issue 11, pp 2177–2184 | Cite as

Prevalence and predictors of blood transfusion after pediatric kidney transplantation

  • Katherine M. Richards
  • Rebecca A. Spicer
  • Elizabeth Craig
  • Sean E. KennedyEmail author
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. What’s New in Renal Transplantation



Blood transfusion after kidney transplant carries a risk of sensitization to the graft as well as blood borne infections.

The aim of this study was to describe the prevalence of blood transfusions in pediatric recipients of kidney transplants and to determine the factors associated with transfusions during the perioperative period. Additionally, to describe the changes in hemoglobin levels during the first 12 months following transplant.


A retrospective, single center analysis using data collected prospectively between 2010 and 2017. Red blood cell transfusion within the first week after transplant and anemia at 3 months were used as outcomes. Multivariate analysis was performed on significant variates with results described according to odds ratio (OR) and interquartile range (IQR).


Transfusions were given after 21 of 42 (50%) transplants in recipients aged between 1 and 17 years (median 14 years). Age, height, weight, and pre-transplant hemoglobin predicted transfusion in univariate analyses. Regression analysis identified pre-transplant hemoglobin as an independent factor (OR 0.85, IQR 0.73–0.98; p = 0.02). Anemia was present at 3 months after 15 (36%) transplants. Anemia at 3 months was associated with older and larger recipients, lower pre-transplant hemoglobin, and lower estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) on univariate analysis. Logistic regression analysis identified eGFR at 3 months as the only independent predictor of anemia at 3 months (OR 0.93, IQR 0.87–0.99; p = 0.04).


Transfusions are prevalent in the perioperative period after pediatric kidney transplantation. Lower pre-transplant hemoglobin increases the risk of transfusion. Graft function predicts hemoglobin levels at 3 months.


Kidney transplantation Child Blood transfusion Anemia Erythropoietin Risk factors 


Compliance with ethical standards

The study had approval from the local human research ethics committee.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© IPNA 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Women’s & Children’s Health, UNSW MedicineUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Nephrology, Sydney Children’s HospitalRandwickAustralia

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