Pediatric Kidney Transplant Evaluation

Step 1: Becoming a Candidate

For More Information 919-681-2679

Your child will undergo a comprehensive evaluation with our pediatric transplant team before a kidney transplant is recommended. The two-day assessment will include meetings with doctors, nurses, a social worker, a financial counselor, and others, as well as blood work and other medical tests and studies. We will consider several factors during your child’s evaluation, for example, kidney function, compliance with medications, access to transportation, and availability of caregivers.

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Depending on your child’s specific needs, they may have one or more of the following tests. 

  • Blood tests for blood type, human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing to help find the best donor match, kidney and liver function, and more/li>
  • Imaging studies including a chest X-ray, renal ultrasound, EKG, and an echocardiogram 
  • An infection screening for hepatitis, HIV, tuberculosis, and other infections 
  • A psychological assessment
  • A dental exam to check for infections

They may also have appointments with specialists -- for example, a urologist -- for additional testing and assessment of their underlying kidney condition.

Is Your Child Ready for an Evaluation?

If you want to make an appointment for a pediatric kidney transplant evaluation for your child, please contact us. Our team can help with next steps.

The Committee’s Decision

After the transplant team has collected the information it needs, our pediatric selection committee will decide whether kidney transplant is the best option for your child. Your transplant coordinator will share the outcome with you. There are three decisions that the committee can make:

  • Kidney transplant is a good option for your child. The committee recommends moving forward with the transplant process.
  • There is more to learn about your child. The committee will request more meetings or tests before making a decision.
  • Kidney transplant is not appropriate for your child at this time. This could be for many reasons, for instance, a body mass index (BMI) over 35, uncontrolled hyperparathyroidism, or not having two reliable caregivers.
Our Locations

Kidney transplant surgery is performed at Duke Children's Hospital and Health Center. Pre- and post-transplant appointments take place at our kidney transplant clinic within Duke Children's.

If Your Child Is a Candidate

If the committee decides that a kidney transplant is the best option:

  • Your financial coordinator will work with your health insurance to seek approval for the procedure. 
  • Your doctor will review how to stay healthy -- for example, by getting all required vaccines and taking prescribed medications -- while they wait for transplant.
  • When your child is ready to receive a kidney from the UNOS national wait list, their name will be activated, meaning that they can receive a kidney at any time. If your child has a living donor, they will be scheduled for transplantation and will only be taken off the waiting list once the transplant is performed.

Step 2: Waiting for a Kidney
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Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center is proud to be nationally ranked in 10 pediatric specialties.

This page was medically reviewed on 08/10/2023 by