Successful Kidney Transplantation in Children With a Compromised Inferior Vena Cava

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Children with a compromised inferior vena cava (IVC) were previously considered unsuitable for kidney transplantation because of the technical difficulties and the increased risk of graft thrombosis secondary to inadequate renal venous outflow.


We conducted a retrospective study of 11 transplants in 9 patients with end-stage renal disease and thrombosed IVCs who received adult kidney allografts between 2000 and 2015. The mean age at transplantation was 7.5 ± 3.5 years. A pretransplant diagnosis of the IVC thrombosis was made in 7 patients by magnetic resonance imaging and computerized tomography, whereas there were 2 instances of intraoperative discovery of the IVC thrombosis.


In the early cases, a kidney was placed intraperitoneally at the right iliac fossa with a venous anastomosis to the patent segment of the suprarenal IVC. After 2008, however, 6 adult-sized kidneys were subsequently placed in the left orthotopic position. Venous drainage was attained to the infrahepatic IVC (n = 3), left native renal vein (n = 2), and ascending lumbar vein (n = 1). Moreover, a venous bypass was created between the graft and the splenic vein in 2 children who showed high return pressure after the vessel was declamped.


The mean glomerular filtration rate of the functioning 8 grafts 1 year posttransplant was 73.4 ± 20.4 mL/min per 1.73 m2. Of note, 6 of the grafts have been functioning well, with a mean follow-up of 66 months. Both 1- and 5-year graft survival were 81.8%.


Transplantation into the left orthotopic position and the revascularization methods are an effective set of surgical techniques that could potentially be adopted as safe and reliable transplant approaches in children with IVC thrombosis.

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