BACKGROUND: Renal function deteriorates in some children awaiting heart transplantation. This study was initiated to assess the effects of worsening renal function (WRF) on post-heart transplantation outcomes and to determine the effect of waiting-list associated WRF on survival after heart transplantation.
METHODS: All children aged <18 years who underwent their first heart transplantation between 1999 and 2009, had reported plasma creatinine concentrations at listing and at transplantation, and were free of renal replacement therapy at listing were identified using the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network database. The independent effects of WRF on in-hospital mortality and post-discharge survival were assessed using logistic regression and log-rank analyses, respectively.
RESULTS: Of the 2,216 children included in the analysis, WRF occurred in 334 (15%) awaiting heart transplantation: WRF was mild (stage 1) in 210 (63%), moderate (stage 2) in 40 (12%), and severe (stage 3) in 84 (25%). All WRF stages were independently associated with in-hospital, post-transplant mortality: mild WRF with adjusted odds ratio (AOR) of 2.1 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2–3.5); moderate WRF, 2.7 (95% CI, 1.1–6.7); and severe WRF, 3.6 (95% CI, 2.0–6.5). WRF was not associated with death after discharge (hazard ratio, 1.2; 95% CI, 0.9–1.7) at a median follow-up of 2.7 years.
CONCLUSIONS: WRF occurs in 15% of children awaiting heart transplantation and is associated with early but not late post-transplant mortality.