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Am J Transplant. 2004 Feb;4(2):262-9.

The burden of chronic kidney disease in renal transplant recipients.

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Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Kidney Research Centre, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


The National Kidney Foundation has developed guidelines for the diagnosis and classification of chronic kidney disease (CKD) but it is not known whether these are applicable to renal transplant recipients. This study determined the prevalence of CKD according to the stages defined in the guidelines, the complications related to CKD and whether the prevalence of complications was related to CKD stage in 459 renal transplant recipients. CKD was present in 412 patients (90%) and 60% were in CKD Stage 3 with a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) between 30 and 59 mL/min/1.73 m2. The prevalence of anemia increased from 0% in Stage 1 to 33% in Stage 5 (p<0.001). Hypertension was present in 86% and increased from 60% in Stage 1 to 100% in Stage 5 (p=0.02). The number of anti-hypertensives per patient increased from 0.7 in Stage 1 to 2.3 in Stage 5 (p<0.001). The number of CKD complications per patient increased from 1.1 in Stage 1 to 2.7 in Stage 5 (p<0.001). We conclude that CKD and the complications of CKD are highly prevalent in renal transplant recipients. The classification of renal transplant patients by CKD stage may help clinicians identify patients at increased risk and target appropriate therapy to improve outcomes.

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