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Kidney Int. 2000 May;57(5):2144-50.

Predicting clinical outcome in the elderly renal transplant recipient.

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Departments of Medicine and Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455, USA.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate graft and patient survival in first-time kidney transplant recipients 60 years old or older, and to identify pretransplant risk factors that predict clinical outcome.


We reviewed the clinical course of 206 recipients, 60 years old or older, of first kidney transplants at the University of Minnesota. Patient and graft survival were compared with 1640 patients aged 18 to 59 transplanted during the same time period. Regression analysis was performed to identify risk factors that predicted a poor outcome.


In patients 60 years old or older, graft survival at one and five years was 86 and 60%, and patient survival at one and five years was 90 and 68%, respectively. Graft and patient survival were decreased compared with recipients aged 18 to 59, but were similar when censored for patient death as a cause of graft loss. A pretransplant history of nonskin malignancy and vascular disease and a current smoking history were risk factors for decreased graft and patient survival. To determine the potential impact of screening for low-risk patients, we evaluated graft and patient survival in patients age > or =60 without these risk factors versus those with one or more risk factors. In the absence of risk factors, both graft and patient survival were significantly improved compared with patients with these risk factors and were equivalent to that of patients aged 18 to 59.


Renal transplantation is a safe and effective therapy for the older renal failure patient. In the absence of identified risk factors, graft survival is equivalent to that seen in younger patients.

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