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Horm Res Paediatr., 2013; 79: 88–96

Steroid Withdrawal in Pediatric Kidney Transplant Allows Better Growth, Lipids and Body Composition: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Year: 2013

Mericq V, Salas P, Pinto V, Cano F, Reyes L, Brown K, Gonzalez M, Michea L, Delgado I, Delucchi A.
Institute of Maternal and Child Research, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.


Background: Glucocorticoid immunosuppressant therapy in pediatric kidney transplant (Tx) recipients does not allow the improvement of growth after Tx. Objective: To determine the effect of early steroid withdrawal (SW) on longitudinal growth, insulin sensitivity (IS), and body composition (BC). Methods: This was a prospective, randomized, multicenter study in Tx. Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, IGF-binding protein 3 (IGFBP3), IS, and BC (DEXA/pQCT) were determined at baseline and up to 12 months after Tx. Results: A total of 30 patients were examined; 14 patients were assigned to the SW group (7 male, 7 female; 12 in Tanner stage I) and 16 patients were assigned to the steroid control (SC) group (10 male, 6 female;12 in Tanner stage I). Their chronological age was 7.8 ± 4.3 years, height was -2.3 ± 0.99 SD scores (SDS), and body mass index -0.3 ± 1.2 SDS. After 1 year, the SW group showed an increase in height SDS (+1.2 ± 0.22 vs. +0.60 ± 0.13 SDS in the SC group, p < 0.02), lower IGFBP3 (p < 0.05), cholesterol (p < 0.05), and higher high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (p < 0.05). SW patients had lower trunk fat with no differences in IS. Only in prepubertal patients, the SW group had lower glycemia (p < 0.05), very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (p < 0.01), triglycerides (p < 0.05), triglycerides/glycemia index (TyG; p < 0.02), and better lean mass. Both groups showed an improvement in lean mass after kidney Tx. Conclusions: SW improved longitudinal growth, lipid profile, and trunk and lean fat in Tx patients. In prepubertal recipients, the decrease in TyG suggests better IS.

Keywords: Pediatric kidney transplant · Steroid withdrawal · Metabolic · Growth benefits
GID: 3141; Last update: 13.03.2013