As the number of living pediatric solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients continues to grow, there is an increased likelihood that primary care providers (PCPs) will encounter pediatric SOT recipients in their practices. In addition, as end-stage organ failure is replaced with chronic medical conditions in transplant recipients, there is a need for a comprehensive approach to their management. PCPs can significantly enhance the care of immunosuppressed hosts by advising parents of safety considerations and avoiding adverse drug interactions. Together with subspecialty providers, PCPs are responsible for ensuring that appropriate vaccinations are given and can play an important role in the diagnosis of infections. Through early recognition of rejection and posttransplant complications, PCPs can minimize morbidity. Growth and development can be optimized through frequent assessments and timely referrals. Adherence to immunosuppressive regimens can be greatly improved through reinforcement at every encounter, particularly among adolescents. PCPs can also improve long-term outcomes by easing the transition of pediatric SOT recipients to adult providers. Although guidelines exist for the primary care management of adult SOT recipients, comprehensive guidance is lacking for pediatric providers. In this evidence-based overview, we outline the main issues affecting pediatric SOT recipients and provide guidance for PCPs regarding their management from the first encounter after the transplant to the main challenges that arise in childhood and adolescence. Overall, PCPs can and should use their expertise and serve as an additional layer of support in conjunction with the transplant center for families that are caring for a pediatric SOT recipient.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health