Outcomes Of Granulocyte Colony-stimulating Factor Use In Pediatric Kidney Transplant Recipients: A Pediatric Nephrology Research Consortium Study

Rachel M. Engen, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Patricia L. Weng, University of California, Los Angeles
Weiwen Shih, University of Michigan Medical School
Hiren P. Patel, The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Kelsey Richardson, Doernbecher Children's Hospital
Shauna L. Dowdrick, Penn State Children's Hospital
Isa F. Ashoor, LSU Health Sciences Center - New Orleans
Jason Misurac, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Avram Z. Traum, Harvard Medical School
Michael G. Semanik, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Namarata G. Jain, Columbia University
Asifhusen Mansuri, Augusta University
Rajasree Sreedharan, Medical College of Wisconsin


Background: Neutropenia is common in the first year after pediatric kidney transplant and is associated with an increased risk of infection, allograft loss, and death. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) increases neutrophil production, but its use in pediatric solid organ transplant recipients remains largely undescribed. Methods: We performed a multicenter retrospective cohort study of children with neutropenia within the first 180 days after kidney transplant. Multivariable linear regression and Poisson regression were used to assess duration of neutropenia and incidence of hospitalization, infection, and rejection. Results: Of 341 neutropenic patients, 83 received G-CSF during their first episode of neutropenia. Median dose of G-CSF was 5 mcg/kg for 3 (IQR 2–7) doses. G-CSF use was associated with transplant center, induction immunosuppression, steroid-free maintenance immunosuppression, hospitalization, and decreases in mycophenolate mofetil, valganciclovir, and trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole dosing. Absolute neutrophil count nadir was also significantly lower among those treated with G-CSF. G-CSF use was not associated with a shorter duration of neutropenia (p =.313) and was associated with a higher rate of neutropenia relapse (p =.002) in adjusted analysis. G-CSF use was associated with a decreased risk of hospitalization (aIRR 0.25 (95%CI 0.12–0.53) p <.001) but there was no association with incidence of bacterial infection or rejection within 90 days of neutropenic episode. Conclusion: G-CSF use for neutropenia in pediatric kidney transplant recipients did not shorten the overall duration of neutropenia but was associated with lower risk of hospitalization. Prospective studies are needed to determine which patients may benefit from G-CSF treatment.