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Transplantation. 2003 Nov 27;76(10):1452-7.

Frequency and severity of acute rejection in live- versus cadaveric-donor renal transplants.

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  • 1Renal Transplant Unit, University of Queensland, Princess Alexandra Hopital, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, Australia.



Live donors are an increasingly important source of kidneys for transplantation in Australia. The aim of this study was to compare the rate and severity of rejection between patients receiving kidney transplants from live versus cadaveric donors.


A retrospective analysis was undertaken of all patients receiving live-donor (n=109) and cadaveric-donor (n=389) renal transplants at our institution between April 1, 1994, and March 31, 2000. Follow-up was completed on all patients until graft loss, death, or May 31, 2001.


The baseline characteristics of the live-donor and cadaveric groups were similar, except for recipient age (mean+/-SD, 36.3+/-15.6 vs. 44.5+/-14.4 years, respectively; P<0.001); donor age (46.1+/-11.3 vs. 36.1+/-16.4 years, P<0.001); pretransplant dialysis duration (1.36+/-2.1 vs. 3.4+/-4.4 years, P<0.001); and the proportions of patients receiving first allografts (95% vs. 88%, respectively; P<0.05), antibody induction (8% vs. 20%, P<0.01), and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) (60% vs. 37%, P<0.001). Acute rejection was observed in 48 (44%) live-donor and 108 (28%) cadaveric transplants (P=0.001). Cadaveric donor type was independently predictive of less acute rejection both on logistic regression (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.30-0.73; P=0.001) and multivariate Cox proportional hazards model analysis (hazard ratio, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.34-0.69; P<0.001). Patients receiving cadaveric-donor transplants were also significantly less likely to receive antibody therapy for rejection (univariate, 18% vs. 9%; P=0.006; multivariate AOR, 0.45; 95% CI, -0.25-0.82; P<0.01), independent of recipient age, gender, race, transplant number, human leukocyte antigen mismatch, sensitization, induction therapy, delayed graft function, MMF use, tacrolimus or cyclosporine A use, sirolimus-everolimus use, year of transplant, donor age, or dialysis duration. However, donor type did not independently influence graft survival, immunologic graft survival, or patient survival.


Live-donor kidney transplant recipients had a higher rate and severity of rejection and a shorter rejection-free period than cadaveric renal transplant recipients. Further consideration of the reasons for this difference and the use of alternative immunosuppressive strategies for live-donor transplants are recommended.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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