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Pediatric kidney expert receives Young Investigator Award from American Transplant Congress

Rebecca Ruebner, M.D., who cares for patients with kidney disorders at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, received a Young Investigator Award of the American Transplant Congress (ATC) at its national meeting this week in Boston.

Dr. Ruebner, a fellow in the Division of Nephrology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, received the award in recognition of research she presented June 5 at the ATC, entitled, "Risk Factors for End-Stage Kidney Disease after Pediatric Liver Transplantation."

In this study, a retrospective analysis of outcomes after all pediatric liver transplantations performed in the U.S. from 1990 through 2010, Dr. Ruebner found that end-stage kidney disease was relatively uncommon in these children, occurring in 167, or 2 percent, of the 8,976 patients who received liver transplants.

"This rate of end-stage kidney disease in children is considerably lower than that found in adults who received liver transplantation," said Dr. Ruebner, "but children who do develop end-stage kidney disease have a high mortality rate." She added that in all patients who receive liver transplants, the immunosuppressive drugs they must take to prevent their bodies from rejecting the donor liver carry a risk of kidney damage.

Dr. Ruebner said the study reinforces the importance of closely following children for the first signs of kidney disease after they receive a liver transplant. The Nephrology program at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was again ranked in the top two pediatric programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report's 2012-13 survey of Best Children's Hospitals, announced this week.

Contact: Rachel Salis-Silverman
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

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