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Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl. 2019 Sep-Oct;30(5):1065-1074. doi: 10.4103/1319-2442.270262.

Long-term renal outcome and survival of kidney transplant recipients admitted to the intensive care unit.

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Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University; Nephrology Clinics, King Abdulla University Medical Center, Manama, Bahrain.
Emergency Room Department, King Khalid Hospital, Alkharj, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Nephrology, Salmaniya Medical Complex, Ministry of Health, Manama, Bahrain.
Department of Immunology, Salmaniya Medical Complex, Ministry of Health, Manama, Bahrain.


The goal of this study was to evaluate the course and outcome of kidney transplant (KT) recipients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). We reviewed the data of all adult renal transplant recipients who are admitted to the ICU at our center, between 1997 and 2017. Data reviewed included the demographic features, causes of end-stage renal disease, causes of admission, time between transplantation and admission, and ICU course and outcome. Among 379 KT recipients followed up in our center, 60 patients were admitted to the ICU and were categorized to early (during first 90 days; n = 28); intermediate (3-12 months; n = 7); and late (12 months and later, n = 25). The rate of ICU admission was 15.9%, and the mean age was 48.3 ± 12.6 years. The main reason for ICU admission was surgical complications (71%) in early group and infection (57% and 80%) in the intermediate and late groups, respectively. Mortality was significantly higher in late admission (52%) (P = 0.0001) and the leading cause of death in all groups was sepsis (89%). Twenty patients required ventilator that was an independent risk factor for mortality (P < 0.05). There was statistically significant decrease in the overall 5-year and 10-year patient survival (P = 0.031) in KT patients admitted to the ICU. The study shows that the main reason for ICU admissions was infections, especially in late admission. Mortality rate was relatively high and was linked to need for ventilator. Admission to the ICU is usually associated with decrease in the graft and patient survival.

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