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Am J Kidney Dis. 2010 Nov;56(5):961-70. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2010.06.024. Epub 2010 Sep 25.

Delayed graft function and the risk of death with graft function in living donor kidney transplant recipients.

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  • 1Division of Nephrology and the Kidney Transplant Program, Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



The link between delayed graft function (DGF) and death with graft function (DWGF) in living donor kidney transplant recipients presently is unknown.


Retrospective cohort study.


44,630 adult living donor kidney recipients (first transplants only) in the US Renal Data System from January 1, 1994, to December 31, 2004.


DGF, defined as the need for dialysis therapy in the first week after transplant.


Time to DWGF.


Kaplan-Meier curves were constructed to assess the impact of DGF on DWGF. Recipients with DGF were 1:1 propensity score matched to those without DGF, and time-dependent Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine factors associated with DWGF. Subgroup and sensitivity analyses also were conducted.


DWGF occurred in 3,878 patients during 3.9 years' (median) follow-up. In patients with DGF, survival with graft function at 1, 3, 5, and 10 years was 91.9%, 86.8%, 81.6%, and 61.7%, respectively (in patients without DGF, these values were 98.0%, 95.2%, 91.6%, and 80.1%, respectively; P < 0.001 compared with the DGF group). In a fully adjusted time-dependent Cox model, HRs for DWGF in patients with DGF (vs without DGF) were 6.55 (95% CI, 4.78-8.97), 3.55 (95% CI, 2.46-5.11), 2.07 (95% CI, 1.53-2.81), and 1.48 (95% CI, 1.26-1.73) at 0-1, 1-3, 3-12, and longer than 12 months posttransplant, respectively. Propensity score analysis showed similar results. Inferences were unchanged after adjustment for kidney function and acute rejection at 6 months and 1 year posttransplant. Cardiovascular and infectious causes of DWGF were more prevalent in patients with DGF. The association was more marked in female recipients and robust to various sensitivity analyses.


The impact of lesser decreases in early graft function could not be evaluated.


DGF is associated with an increased risk of DWGF in living donor kidney recipients. The mechanisms underlying this relation require further study.

Copyright © 2010 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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