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Am J Nephrol. 2014;39(4):297-305. doi: 10.1159/000360426. Epub 2014 Apr 10.

Estimated glomerular filtration rate decline as a predictor of dialysis in kidney transplant recipients.

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  • 1Regional Nephrology Unit, Belfast City Hospital, Belfast, UK.



It is now common for individuals to require dialysis following the failure of a kidney transplant. Management of complications and preparation for dialysis are suboptimal in this group. To aid planning, it is desirable to estimate the time to dialysis requirement. The rate of decline in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) may be used to this end.


This study compared the rate of eGFR decline prior to dialysis commencement between individuals with failing transplants and transplant-naïve patients. The rate of eGFR decline was also compared between transplant recipients with and without graft failure. eGFR was calculated using the four-variable MDRD equation with rate of decline calculated by least squares linear regression.


The annual rate of eGFR decline in incident dialysis patients with graft failure exceeded that of the transplant-naïve incident dialysis patients. In the transplant cohort, the mean annual rate of eGFR decline prior to graft failure was 7.3 ml/min/1.73 m(2) compared to 4.8 ml/min/1.73 m(2) in the transplant-naïve group (p < 0.001) and 0.35 ml/min/1.73 m(2) in recipients without graft failure (p < 0.001). Factors associated with eGFR decline were recipient age, decade of transplantation, HLA mismatch and histological evidence of chronic immunological injury.


Individuals with graft failure have a rapid decline in eGFR prior to dialysis commencement. To improve outcomes, dialysis planning and management of chronic kidney disease complications should be initiated earlier than in the transplant-naïve population.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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