BACKGROUND: Few objective data exist describing current anesthesia practice for pediatric renal transplantation. We describe here, the experience from an Australian tertiary pediatric center that has continued an active pediatric renal transplantation program after relocation in 1995. Areas of interest include preoperative status, fluid management, hemodynamic stability, perioperative complications, and the use of epidural analgesia. In particular, the influence of perioperative epidural analgesia on hemodynamic stability is addressed. METHODS: A retrospective review of anesthesia records of all patients undergoing pediatric renal transplantation performed at the Children's Hospital at Westmead (CHW), from November 1995 to October 2002 was carried out. RESULTS: Fifty-three pediatric renal transplants were performed in 50 patients. Average age and weight were 10.2 years (range: 1-18 years) and 31.4 kg (range: 9-66 kg), respectively. A total of 14 recipients were less than or equal to 6 years of age. Twenty-four children were recipients of cadaveric transplants, 29 children received kidneys from living related donors. Few children presented with severe anemia (two patients) gross electrolyte abnormalities (three patients) or uncontrolled hypertension. Intraoperatively, all children had central venous pressure monitoring and only four had invasive arterial blood pressure monitoring. Average intraoperative fluid administration was 88 ml x kg(-1) (range: 30-190). Twenty-three children received blood transfusions intraoperatively. Postoperative analgesia was provided using an epidural infusion in 39 patients and an opioid infusion/patient controlled analgesia in the remainder. There was a tendency to greater hemodynamic stability in the group, which received intra-operative epidural analgesia. Half the patients who had epidural analgesia required parenteral opioid supplementation. Five patients had postoperative pulmonary edema. Minor postoperative adverse events included epidural associated motor block (three cases) and opioid related oversedation (one patient). No perioperative mortality or major morbidity was recorded. CONCLUSIONS: Anesthesia for renal transplantation in pediatric patients at CHW is safe and effective using a selected range of drugs and techniques. Pretransplant medical optimization, careful preoperative assessment, adequate monitoring and precise fluid management together with appropriate postoperative analgesia typify the perioperative care of CHW renal transplant recipients.
PMID: 15725320 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]