Results of renal transplantation in younger children have not been very encouraging in the past. We therefore studied the effect of newer immunosuppressive regimens on the outcome of renal transplantation of 5 children aged 2.9 +/- 1.3 years (range 1.6-5.0), and compared it to 10 children of an older pediatric patient group aged 11.4 +/- 4.4 years (range 6.0-18.5). All patients with the exception of 1 underwent dialysis. The percentage of cadaveric and live-related transplants was similar in both groups. Recipients of a cadaveric transplant had at least 3 blood transfusions; recipients of live-related transplants had donor-specific transfusions with azathioprine. Posttransplantation immunosuppression consisted of prednisone and azathioprine; recipients of cadaveric transplants received also ciclosporin. Rejection episodes and side effects (hypertension, hirsutism) were comparable in both groups. In the younger patient group, 1 patient died of a congenital lung abnormality but had a functioning graft. In the older patient group, 1 patient lost his graft 16 months posttransplantation due to reduction of his immunosuppressives, necessitated by a severe CMV infection. Growth and development improved in the younger patient group, but was stable in older patients. Renal transplantation is a suitable option in younger pediatric patients. Graft survival rates are comparable to those of older patients.