BACKGROUND: Aortic dilatation is a cardiovascular complication in pediatric renal transplant recipients and may have an increased risk of aortic dissection, aortic rupture, and death. Studies failed to show an association between blood pressure and aortic dilatation; however, 24-hours ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) was not performed. There was also no comparison between preemptive transplantation and dialysis.
METHODS: After ethics approval, a retrospective cross-sectional study was performed on all prevalent pediatric renal transplant recipients from a single tertiary care center. The presence of aortic dilatation was determined using standard echocardiographic measurements, and those with other risk factors for aortic dilatation were excluded. Associations between 24-hours ABPM, renal function, dialysis history, and aortic dimensions were determined.
RESULTS: We enrolled 37 participants with the following characteristics: 46% female, mean age 14.5 ± 3.7 years, 16% preemptive transplantation, and median end-stage renal disease (ESRD) combined vintage (time from ESRD onset to echocardiogram) 597 days (range 289-1290 days). We found 16/37 patients (43%) with aortic dilatation at any level, mostly mild. There was no association between 24-hours ABPM measurements and aortic dilatation. None of the preemptively transplanted children had aortic dilatation.
CONCLUSION: This study confirms a high prevalence of aortic dilatation among pediatric renal transplant recipients, which appears to be independent of hypertension on 24-hour ABPM. Patients with preemptive renal transplantation did not have aortic dilatation, suggesting that the effects of dialysis may contribute to the high prevalence of this complication. Pediatric cardiologists need to carefully assess aortic dimensions in these at-risk patients.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael-grattan/6/