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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2010 Jan;21(1):153-61. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2009040412. Epub 2009 Oct 29.

Delayed graft function and the risk for death with a functioning graft.

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  • 1Division of Nephrology, Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Delayed graft function (DGF) associates with an increased risk for graft failure, but its link with death with graft function (DWGF) is unknown. We used the US Renal Data System to assemble a cohort of all first, adult, deceased-donor kidney transplant recipients from January 1, 1998, through December 31, 2004. In total, 11,542 (23%) of 50,246 recipients required at least one dialysis session in the first week after transplantation. Compared with patients without DGF, patients with DGF were significantly more likely to die with a functioning graft (relative hazard 1.83 [95% confidence interval 1.73 to 1.93] and 1.53 [95% CI 1.45 to 1.63] for unadjusted and fully adjusted models, respectively). The risk for DWGF was slightly higher among women with DGF than among men. There was no significant heterogeneity among other subgroups, and the results were robust to sensitivity analyses. Acute rejection within the first year attenuated the DGF-DWGF association. Cardiovascular and infectious deaths were slightly more prevalent in the DGF group, but the relative hazards of cause-specific death were similar between DWGF and deaths during total follow-up. In summary, DGF associates with an increased risk for DWGF; the mechanisms underlying the negative impact of DGF require further study.

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