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Clin Transpl. 2004:91-102.

Outcomes of kidney transplants from non-heart-beating deceased donors as reported to the Japan Organ Transplant Network from April 1995-December 2003: a multi-center report.

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  • 1Statistical Analysis Committee, Japan Organ Transplant Network, Japan.


Between April 1995-December 2003, 1,324 deceased donor kidney transplantations were performed in 139 transplant institutes in Japan. Of these, 45 transplants were from heart-beating and 1,279 transplants were from non-heart-beating deceased donors (NHBDD). Clinical outcomes for the 1,279 recipients of NHBDD kidney transplants were investigated. The overall 5-year patient and graft survival rates were 90% and 72%, respectively. A total of 112 NHBDD kidney grafts never functioned after transplantation and the recipients had to remain on dialysis. The causes of nonfunction were rejection, primary nonfunction, death, thrombosis and others in the order of the incidence. The major causes of graft loss were nonfunction, death, chronic rejection and acute rejection in that order. Major causes of recipient deaths were pneumonia, sepsis and CVA within 12 months, and heart diseases, sepsis, malignancy and pneumonia more than 12 months after transplantation. Kidneys from female donors, donors aged 15 or less or over age 60, donors with extrinsic causes of death other than head trauma, recipients over age 60 and those with diabetic nephropathy as their original disease were found to be at risk for poor graft survival. The lowest and last donor serum creatinine level did not influence the incidence of nonfunction or graft survival. However, graft survival was significantly poorer among recipients of older "expanded" donor kidneys than for recipients of younger grafts. The warm and total ischemia times should be kept shorter than 30 minutes (better 15 minutes), and 12 hours, respectively to minimize the incidence of nonfunction and early graft loss. It is especially important in cases with WIT over 30 minutes that the total ischemia should be kept within 12 hours. Cannulation before cardiac standstill was important to reduce the incidence of nonfunction and achieve high graft survival rates with NHBDD kidneys. The discontinuance of ventilator support also reduced the incidence of graft nonfunction. The combination of CsA or Tacrolimus and MMF as both the induction and maintenance regimen significantly improved graft survival. The use of either anti-T cell antibodies or basiliximab was also associated with significantly better graft survival for NHBDD kidneys. The combination of basiliximab, CsA and MMF resulted in a graft survival rate of 98% at one and 2 years.

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