When does vesicoureteral reflux in pediatric kidney transplant patients need treatment?

The treatment of VUR in children with UTI has changed significantly, due to studies showing that antibiotic prophylaxis does not decrease renal scarring. As children with kidney transplants are at higher risk for UTI, we investigated if select patients with renal transplant VUR could be managed without surgery.

A total of 18 patients with VUR into their renal grafts were identified, and 319 patients underwent transplantation from 2006 to 2016. The cause for the detection of the VUR, treatment, and graft function was reviewed.

Six boys and 12 girls were identified, 13 of whom had grade 3 or 4 VUR into the renal graft. Nine patients presented with hydronephrosis or abnormal renal biopsy: eight were successfully managed with antibiotic prophylaxis and bladder training, one developed UTI and underwent Dx/HA subureteric injection. Nine patients presented with recurrent febrile UTI, only one was successfully managed without surgery. Only 2 of 9 (22%) patients who underwent Dx/HA injection had resolution of their reflux. Of the remaining seven, five required open ureteral reimplantation (two for obstruction), one lost the graft due to rejection, and one had significant hydronephrosis. eGFR was similar between the hydronephrosis, UTI, and abnormal renal biopsy groups at all times.

Patients with transplant VUR and recurrent febrile UTI are more likely to require surgical therapy, but the complication and failure rate for Dx/HA injection is significant. Patients with transplant VUR without febrile UTI can be successfully managed with bladder training and temporary antibiotic prophylaxis.

Pediatric transplantation. 2018 Oct 15 [Epub ahead of print]

Hsi-Yang Wu, Waldo Concepcion, Paul C Grimm

Division of Pediatric Urology, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford, California., Division of Kidney Transplantation, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford, California.