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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2010 Jun;29(6):633-40. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2010.01.004. Epub 2010 Mar 29.

Natural course and risk factors for impaired renal function during the first year after heart transplantation.

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Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.



Post-operative renal failure is a common and potentially hazardous complication after heart transplantation (HTx). In this study we characterized pre- and post-operative risk factors for acute renal failure requiring renal replacement therapy (RRT).


Ninety-three patients underwent orthotopic HTx between 2000 and 2007. The risk factors for RRT during the early post-operative period and predictors contributing to impaired renal function within the first post-transplant year were analyzed by regression analysis. The impact of pre-operative renal failure and early post-operative RRT on renal function within 1 year were studied.


Before HTx, 55% of patients (51 of 93) had normal renal function or mild renal failure (glomerular filtration rate [GFR] >60 ml/min/1.73 m(2)). Before discharge from the hospital, 25% (23 of 93) developed acute renal failure and required RRT. Of these, 16% (8 of 51) had pre-operatively normal renal function or mild renal failure, and 36% (15 of 42) had moderate or severe renal failure (GFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m(2); p = 0.02). The prognosticators for early RRT were prolonged graft dysfunction, re-admission to the operating room due to post-operative bleeding, poor diuresis during surgery (<1,000 ml), pre-operative pacemaker implantation, intubation time >24 hours, pre-operative GFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m(2), post-operative troponin T >6 microg/liter and pre-operative use of angiotensin receptor blocker.


Pre-operative renal failure is a significant risk factor for RRT during the immediate post-operative period and requires aggressive treatment. Patients with pre-operative renal failure secondary to severe heart failure and acute post-operative renal failure requiring RRT tend to recover within the first year post-HTx.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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