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Am J Transplant. 2014 Jul;14(7):1612-8. doi: 10.1111/ajt.12732. Epub 2014 Jun 6.

Kidney allograft function and histology in recipients dying with a functioning graft.

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Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.


Death with function (DWF) is a major cause of kidney allograft failure. Allograft dysfunction may contribute to DWF. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between DWF and allograft function using estimated GFR (eGFR) and histology. We retrospectively analyzed 1842 kidney allografts transplanted at our center from 1996 to 2010. eGFR was estimated using the MDRD equation. Biopsies obtained 12 months posttransplant and within 1 year of DWF were analyzed. Proportional hazards models were used to examine the relationship between eGFR and DWF. During 68 ± 43 months of follow-up, 14% (n = 256) of recipients experienced DWF. Risk factors of DWF included increasing recipient age (hazard ratio [HR] = 2.07, confidence interval [CI] 1.77-2.43, p < 0.0001), diabetes (HR = 2.58, CI 1.81-3.69, p < 0.0001), prior dialysis (HR = 1.47, CI 1.05-2.06, p = 0.03) and eGFR <40 mL/min/1.73 m(2) (HR 2.26 per 10 mL/min/1.73 m(2) decrease in eGFR, CI 1.82-2.81, p < 0.0001). Prior to death, only 15.9% (n = 39) of DWF recipients had stage 4 chronic kidney disease (CKD) and only 4.9% (n = 12) had stage 5 CKD. Most biopsies performed within 1 year of DWF (68%) demonstrated benign histology and were comparable to biopsies from matched controls. In conclusion, allograft dysfunction is independently associated with DWF. However, the majority of DWF recipients have well-preserved allograft function and histology prior to death.


Clinical research/practice; glomerular filtration rate (GFR); kidney (allograft) function/dysfunction; kidney transplantation/nephrology

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