Nationally, results of renal transplantation in infants are inferior to those in older children and adults. Within the infant group, best results are obtained with adult-sized kidneys (ASKs) rather than size-compatible pediatric kidneys. However, transplantation of ASKs into infants has an increased risk of acute tubular necrosis and graft loss from vascular thrombosis and primary nonfunction. The aim of this study was to define and understand the hemodynamic changes induced by ASK transplantation, so that outcomes of transplantation in infants can be improved.Methods.
Nine hemodynamically stable and optimally hydrated infants were studied under a controlled sedation with cine phase-contrast magnetic resonance at three time periods: before transplantation, 8-12 days after transplantation, and 4-6 months after transplantation. Cross-sectional images of both the infant aorta and the adult transplant renal artery were obtained and blood flow was quantitated. Renal volumes were also obtained, and expected renal artery blood flow based on early posttransplant volume was calculated. In addition, renal artery blood flow was determined in 10 in situ native adult kidneys prior to donor nephrectomy. Supplemental nasogastric or gastrostomy tube feeding was carried out during the blood flow study period to optimize intravascular volume.Results.
Mean infant aortic blood flows were 331±148 ml/min before transplantation, 761±272 ml/min at 8-12 days after transplantation (P=0.0006 with pretransplant flow), and 665±138 ml/min at 4-6 months after transplantation (P=0.0001 with pretransplant flow). Mean transplanted renal artery flows were 385±158 ml/min at 8-12 days and 296±113 ml/min at 4-6 months after transplantation. Transplanted renal artery flows were less than prenephrectomy in situ donor renal artery blood flow (618±130 ml/min; P=0.02 and P=0.0003) and expected normal renal artery blood flow (666±87 ml/min; P=0.003 and P=0.001) at both 8-12 days and 4-6 months after transplantation. A 26% reduction in renal volume (P=0.003) occurred between the two postoperative time periods, and this parallel the decrease in posttransplant renal artery flow. One-year graft and patient survival in the nine infants was 100%. The mean serum creatinine levels at 3, 6, and 12 months were 0.43±0.10, 0.48±0.15, and 0.49±0.16 mg/dl.Conclusions.
This study is the first to quantitatively document the blood flow changes occurring after ASK transplantation in infants. There was a greater than two-fold increase in aortic blood flow after ASK transplantation, and this increase was sustained for at least 4 months and appeared to be driven by the blood flow demand of the ASK. However, actual posttransplant renal artery blood flow was significantly less than normal renal artery flow. Our study suggests that aggressive intravascular volume maintenance may be necessary to achieve and maintain optimum aortic blood flow, so as not to further compromise posttransplant renal artery flow and to avoid low-flow states that could induce acute tubular necrosis, vascular thrombosis, or primary nonfunction.