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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2002 Oct;13(10):2570-6.

The effect of donor gender on graft survival.

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Department of Internal Medicine/Nephrology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.


Differences in actuarial graft survival according to donor gender have been reported for renal allografts and for cardiac and hepatic allografts, but for the latter in small series with limited biostatistical power. Using the large database of the Collaborative Transplant Study (CTS), this study is an evaluation of graft survival according to donor and recipient gender for renal (n = 124,911), cardiac (n = 25,432), and hepatic (n = 16,410) transplants. Confounders, such as calendar year, geographical area, race, donor and recipient age, HLA mismatch, cold ischemia time, and others, as well as interaction terms were taken into consideration. Death-censored actuarial renal allograft survival from female compared with male donors was less in female recipients and even more so in male recipients. The donor gender-associated risk ratio for graft loss was 1.15 in female recipients and 1.22 in male recipients. The age-gender interaction term was statistically significant, the gender effect being more pronounced for younger (16 to 45 yr) compared with older (>45 yr) donors. Serum creatinine concentrations 1 yr after transplantation were also higher for recipients with kidney grafts coming from female donors irrespective of recipient gender. For first cardiac transplants, graft survival was inferior when the donor was female and the recipient male, but no statistical difference according to donor gender was demonstrable in female recipients. For first hepatic transplants overall, no significant differences according to donor gender were noted. The proportion of recipients who had treatment for rejection crisis during the first year was higher for male recipients of kidneys from female donors compared with male donors. No difference according to donor gender was demonstrable in female recipients. For cardiac and hepatic grafts, no significant effect of donor gender on the proportion of patients treated for rejection episodes was noted. The data show that adverse effects of female donor gender for different organs is much less uniform than reported in the past. An important confounder is donor age. A gender effect on graft survival is also observed for cardiac allografts. Therefore, in addition to potential "nephron underdosing," further pathomechanisms must play a role, possibly differences in immunogenicity according to donor gender.

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