June 8, 2012 — Rebecca Ruebner, MD, who cares for patients with kidney disorders at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, received a Young Investigator Award of the American Transplant Congress (ATC) at its national meeting this week in Boston.
Award recognizes research on end-stage kidney disease after pediatric liver transplantation
Dr. Ruebner, a fellow in the Division of Nephrology at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, received the award in recognition of research she presented June 5 at the ATC, entitled, “Risk Factors for End-Stage Kidney Disease after Pediatric Liver Transplantation.”
In this study, a retrospective analysis of outcomes after all pediatric liver transplantations performed in the U.S. from 1990 through 2010, Dr. Ruebner found that end-stage kidney disease was relatively uncommon in these children, occurring in 167, or 2 percent, of the 8,976 patients who received liver transplants.
Children have lower rate of end-stage kidney disease after liver transplant but a higher mortality rate — close monitoring needed
“This rate of end-stage kidney disease in children is considerably lower than that found in adults who received liver transplantation,” said Dr. Ruebner, “but children who do develop end-stage kidney disease have a high mortality rate.” She added that in all patients who receive liver transplants, the immunosuppressive drugs they must take to prevent their bodies from rejecting the donor liver carry a risk of kidney damage.
Dr. Ruebner said the study reinforces the importance of closely following children for the first signs of kidney disease after they receive a liver transplant. The Nephrology program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has consistently ranked in the top 10 pediatric programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report’ survey of Best Children’s Hospitals.