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Early corticosteroid withdrawal is associated with improved adult height in pediatric kidney transplant recipients

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BACKGROUND: Catch-up growth after pediatric kidney transplantation (kTx) is usually insufficient to reach normal adult height. We aimed to analyze the effect of pre-transplant recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) and corticosteroid withdrawal on linear growth in the first year after kidney transplantation and identify factors associated with final height (FH). METHODS: Patients who underwent kTx between 1996 and 2018 at below 18 years old in five Belgian and Dutch centers were included. We analyzed the differences between height Z-scores at kTx and 1 year post-transplant (Δ height Z-score) in children with and without corticosteroids at 1 year (CS + /CS -) and with and without rhGH treatment before kTx (rhGH + /rhGH -). Univariable and multivariable linear regression analysis was applied to identify factors associated with height Z-score at 1 year post-kTx, Δ height Z-score, and FH Z-score. RESULTS: A total of 177 patients were included, with median age 9.3 years at kTx. Median height Z-scores pre-kTx and 1 year later in the CS - /rhGH - , CS + /rhGH - , CS - /rhGH + , and CS + /rhGH + groups were - 1.42/ - 0.80, - 0.90/ - 0.62, - 1.35/ - 1.20, and - 1.30/ - 1.60 (p = 0.001). CS use 1 year post-kTx was the only factor associated with Δ height (p = 0.003) on multivariable analysis. CS use at 1 year was the only variable associated with FH (p = 0.014) in children with pre-transplant height Z-score below - 1 (n = 52). CONCLUSIONS: Increase in height Z-score in the first year post-kTx was highest in the CS - /rhGH - group and lowest in the CS + /rhGH + group. The use of corticosteroids at 1 year post-kTx is associated with catch-up growth and in children with pre-transplant height Z-score below - 1 also with final height. A higher resolution version of the Graphical abstract is available as Supplementary information.
Tijdschrift: PEDIATRIC NEPHROLOGY
ISSN: 0931-041X
Issue: 1
Volume: 38
Pagina's: 279 - 289
Jaar van publicatie:2023