Children after renal transplantation hospitalized for fever: Is empirical antibiotic treatment always justified?

Liat Ashkenazi-Hoffnung*, Miriam Davidovits, Efraim Bilavsky, Reem Yassin, Eran Rom, Jacob Amir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality after renal transplantation. However, data focusing on children are scarce. The objective of this study was to investigate the frequency and predictors of bacterial infection in pediatric renal transplant recipients in a specific setting of hospitalization due to fever. Clinical and laboratory data were retrospectively collected for all pediatric renal transplant recipients hospitalized for fever in a national renal transplantation center from 2004 to 2012. One hundred and sixty-eight hospital admissions for fever of 52 children were analyzed. A bacterial etiology was diagnosed in 85 admissions (50.6%); 49 cases (57.6%) were documented microbiologically and 36 (42.4%) clinically. Risk factors and markers of bacterial infection included older age, presence of a central venous catheter, sonographic findings, and elevated inflammatory indices. C-reactive protein level was a more sensitive marker than white blood cell count and absolute neutrophil count. In patients without identified risk factors, no bacterial infections were diagnosed. Pediatric renal transplant recipients hospitalized for fever are at high risk of bacterial infections and usually require empirical antibiotic treatment at admission. However, there is a minority of low-risk patients in whom clinicians may consider withholding antibiotic treatment with close follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12862
JournalPediatric Transplantation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • C-reactive protein
  • bacterial infection
  • fever
  • renal transplantation


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