Longitudinal study on the use of dried blood spots for home monitoring in children after kidney transplantation

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The use of DBSs for home monitoring has been limited due to unsatisfactory blood sampling and analytical difficulties. The aim of this longitudinal feasibility trial was to assess the utility of DBS to monitor TAC and Cr at home in transplant recipients. A total of 30 participants (2-21 years, mean±SD, 13.6±5.4 year) were enrolled over 12 months. Eighteen were males. Monthly DBS samples were obtained at home and mailed to the central laboratory for analysis of TAC and Cr. Nineteen patients completed the study, and 216 cards were received in the laboratory from a total of 279 cards expected, with 416/519 (80%) blood spots being suitable for analysis. We found a high correlation between blood TAC and Cr levels by DBS and the clinical laboratory, R2=.81 and .95, respectively. Fifteen parents and 15 youth completed measures of satisfaction with and preference for DBS testing. All but one parent/caregiver and youth reported satisfaction and preference for this method of testing over laboratory blood draws. We conclude that home DBS monitoring is a feasible method to monitor TAC and Cr in pediatric transplant recipients.

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