Background. Renal transplants (Tx) are performed infrequently in infants, due to concerns related to poor outcomes. The aim of our study was to compare graft failure rates in infant (<1 y) renal Tx recipients compared with older children. Methods. Retrospective cohort study of pediatric renal Tx recipients from 2000 to 2015, using the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network database. A log-linear event history regression model for time to graft failure, adjusting for age group and important confounders, was used to estimate post-Tx graft failure probabilities. Results. In 2696 Tx followed for a median of 6.1 y, 704 failures were observed. Significant predictors of graft failure were year of Tx (for each year after 2000, rates were 8.6% lower), Black race-ethnicity (63% higher compared with Whites), and number of HLA matches. For infants (n = 27), estimated graft failure percentage (95% confidence interval) within the first 1-, 2-, and 5-y post-Tx were 10.4 (0.1- 21.1), 11.9 (1.2-22.6), and 16.4 (4.9-27.9). For the 1- to 11-y-olds (n = 1429), these were 3.8 (3.0-4.6), 6.3 (5.4-7.3), and 13.6 (12.2-15.0), respectively, and for the 12+ y olds (n = 1240), they were 3.8 (3.1-4.5), 8.1 (7.2-9.0), and 19.9 (18.1-21.7), respectively (P < 0.001 for 5-y graft failure rate across age groups). Conclusions. Infant renal Tx recipients experience a higher graft failure rate in the first year, compared with older cohorts, but over longer intervals, cumulative failure rates are comparable or even lower. To minimize early graft losses such Tx should be performed in experienced centers.
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