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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2004 Sep;15(9):2494-501.

Presence of a failed kidney transplant in patients who are on hemodialysis is associated with chronic inflammatory state and erythropoietin resistance.

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Department of Nephrology, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain.


Patients returning to hemodialysis (HD) after failure of their kidney transplant suffer from high morbidity and mortality rates. It is common practice to keep failed kidney transplants in place. It is not known if these failed kidney transplants induce an inflammatory state that contributes to morbidity and mortality. In a single facility, patients starting on HD with failed kidney transplant were identified (Group A) and screened for the presence of chronic inflammatory state. Those with clinical symptoms attributed to the failed allograft (Group A1) were not offered transplant nephrectomy unless deemed necessary during follow-up. Their clinical and laboratory data were followed up for 6 months. Similar data were obtained from a group of incident HD patients (Group B). Forty-three patients had a failed Kidney transplant (Group A). Of these, 29 comprised Group A1 and 14 Group A2. Group B comprised 121 patients. In comparison with Group B, Group A exhibited worse anemia and erythropoietin resistance index (ERI), had lower serum albumin and prealbumin, and higher CRP. Group A1 had lower Hb and higher ferritin, CRP, and ESR in comparison with Group A2. Following transplant nephrectomy, Group A1 had improvement in ERI, serum albumin, prealbumin, ferritin, fibrinogen, CRP, and ESR. At 6 months, Group A1 had higher Hb and serum albumin levels, and lower CRP and ERI in comparison with Group A2. Group B parameters showed no change during follow-up. Patients returning to HD following failure of their kidney transplant suffer from a chronic inflammatory state. Resection of failed transplants in symptomatic patients is associated with amelioration of markers of chronic inflammation. Transplant nephrectomy should be considered a treatment option for patients with failed kidney transplants, especially if they exhibit signs and symptoms of chronic inflammatory state.

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