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Transplantation. 2010 Jan 27;89(2):232-5. doi: 10.1097/TP.0b013e3181c42ff9.

Predicting renal failure after liver transplantation from measured glomerular filtration rate: review of up to 15 years of follow-up.

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  • 1Baylor University Medical Center, Transplant Services, Dallas, TX 75246, USA.



The immunosuppressive medications that have contributed greatly to the success of liver transplantation are also associated with posttransplant renal dysfunction. We reviewed measured glomerular filtration rate (GFR) data from patients who underwent transplantation more than 10 years ago to assess whether results from specific time points can predict renal failure.


The GFR data were obtained at initial evaluation (IE), at month 3, and at years 1, 2, 5, 10, and 15. Two groupings were compared, one based on GFR at IE and the other at month 3. Patients were further stratified into three GFR (mL/min/1.73 m2) groups: G1, GFR more than 80; G2, GFR 60 to 80; and G3, GFR less than 60.


A total of 592 liver transplant recipients met the inclusion criteria; 114 had paired GFR data from IE to year 15. Analysis of paired and censored data based on IE GFR showed that 62.2% of G3 patients developed renal failure by year 5; another 6.7% did so by year 10 (P=0.027). The month 3 GFR data showed that 56.3% of G3 patients developed renal failure by year 5; another 15.6% did so by year 10. Surprisingly, 37.0% of G2 patients experienced renal failure by year 5; another 11.1% did so by year 10 (P=0.0024).


The month 3 data indicate a slow but steady decline in GFR over years. The lower the initial GFR is after transplant, the sooner renal failure develops. Patients with GFR less than 60 mL/min per 1.73 m2 at month 3 have a higher risk of renal failure; however, those who avoid renal failure seem to maintain renal function long term.

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