Pediatric Kidney Transplant

A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure to place a healthy kidney; from a live or deceased donor into a person whose kidneys no longer function properly. The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs on either side of the spine just below the rib cage. Each one is about the size of a fist. Their main function is to filter and remove excess waste, minerals, and fluid from the blood by producing urine.

The researcher has done researcher on kidney transplant after receiving a kidney transplant; children may experience quality-of-life difficulties that underscore the importance of screening transplant recipients for psychosocial function, according to Children’s research presented May 4, 2019, the 10th Congress of the International Pediatric Transplant Association.

The organ transplant

About 2,000 children and adolescents younger than 18 are on the national waiting list for an organ transplant, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, with most infants and school-aged children waiting for a heart, liver or kidney and most children older than 11 waiting for a kidney or liver. In 2018, 1,895 U.S. children received transplants.

The research team at Children’s National wanted to hear directly from kids about their quality of life after kidney transplant in order to tailor timely interventions to children. Generally, recipients of kidney transplants have reported impaired quality of life compared with healthy peers; with higher mental health difficulties, disrupted sleep patterns and lingering pain.

The Children’s team measured general health-related quality of life; using a 23-item PedsQL Generic Core module and measured the transplant-related quality of life using the PedsQL- Transplant Module. The forms, which can used for patients as young as 2; take about five to 10 minutes to complete and were provided to the child, the parent or the primary caregiver as appropriate during a follow-up visit after the transplant.

The kidney transplants

Thirty-three patient-parent dyads completed the measures; with an additional 25 reports obtained from either the patient or the parent. The patients’ mean age was 14.2; 41.4% were female. Overall, children who receive kidney transplants had minimal concerns about the quality of life after their operation. While it’s comforting that most pediatric patients had no significant problems, the range of quality of life scores indicate that some patients had remarkable difficulties,” says Kaushalendra Amatya, Ph.D., a pediatric psychologist in Nephrology and Cardiology at Children’s National and the study’s lead author.

When the study team reviewed reports given by parents; they found their descriptions sometimes differed in striking ways from the children’s answers. “Parents report lower values on emotional functioning; social functioning and total core quality of life, indicating that parents perceive their children as having more difficulties across these specific domains than the patients’ own self-reports.