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Each child who is referred to Texas Children's Kidney Transplant Program is thoroughly evaluated by a pediatric nephrologist. This evaluation period is critical in determining if a patient needs a kidney transplant or if an alternate treatment is more suitable.
The evaluation requires close to three days of consultations and testing. This may be inpatient or outpatient based on your child’s medical condition. Generally, the evaluation consists of the following tests:
- Renal ultrasound
- Electrocardiogram (EKG): An EKG gives a reading based on the electrical activity of the heart, measuring its rhythm and heartbeat.
- Cardiac catheterization: For this test, a catheter or a thin, plastic tube, is inserted into the heart through an artery or vein in the neck or groin to measure heart pressures and take pictures to further evaluate the patient's heart.
- Blood tests including tissue typing, HIV and Hepatitis panel
- Urine and stool studies
- Transplant coordinator evaluation
- Infectious Disease and Immune System Evaluation
- Nutrition evaluation
- Social Work evaluation
- Child Life Specialist evaluation
- Dentist (if required by insurance)
Once these consultations and tests are complete, all potential candidates will be presented to the Medical Review Board. Members include nephrologists, the transplant surgical team, the transplant nursing staff, dieticians, social workers, child life specialists, pharmacists and financial services staff. Board members will decide if a transplant is a good option for your child. You will be notified of a decision after the meeting by the transplant coordinator and by letter from the review board.