Unexpectedly high prevalence of posttransplant anemia in pediatric and young adult renal transplant recipients

Peter D. Yorgin, Amir Belson, Jaime Sanchez, Amira Y. Al Uzri, Minnie Sarwal, Daniel A. Bloch, John Oehlert, Oscar Salvatierra, Steven R. Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Background: Although posttransplant anemia (PTA) is recognized as a common problem in adult renal transplant recipients, few pediatric studies have been published. Methods: In this retrospective cohort study of 162 pediatric renal transplant recipients treated at Stanford University, the authors sought to determine the prevalence, severity, and the predictive factors of PTA. Anemia was defined as a hematocrit (HCT) level greater than 2 SD below published means for age or as erythropoietin dependency to maintain a normal HCT. Results: Sixty-seven percent of pediatric renal transplant recipients were anemic at the time of transplantation. The prevalence of anemia increased to 84.3% in the first month posttransplant. From 6 months to 60 months posttransplant, the prevalence of anemia remained high at 64.2% to 82.2%. Only 4 patients (2.5%) were never anemic. Iron depletion was detected in 19 of 26 and 23 of 23 anemic patients 12 and 60 months posttransplant, respectively. Serum erythropoietin levels were low relative to hematocrit levels in 38 of 56 anemic patients. Logistic regression at 3 months posttransplant showed that discharge hematocrit level (P < 0.0001), calcium (P = 0.0004), and cyclosporine dose (P = 0.0002) correlated with anemia. Creatinine clearance (P = 0.002) and white blood cell count (P = 0.004) correlated with anemia at 12 months posttransplant, but only creatinine clearance (P = 0.011) correlated with anemia 60 months posttransplant. Conclusion: Nearly all pediatric renal transplant recipients experience PTA. However, few children less than 2 years of age were anemic during the first year posttransplant. Antirejection therapy, bone disease, iron depletion, and creatinine clearance appear to play pivotal roles in the development of PTA in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1306-1318
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002


  • Calculated creatinine clearance
  • Children
  • Complication
  • Erythropoietin (EPO)
  • Hematocrit (HCT)
  • Immunosuppression
  • Iron deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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