Influence of dialysis on post-transplant events

J T Joseph, R M Jindal
Clinical Transplantation 2002, 16 (1): 18-23

INTRODUCTION: We examined the effect of haemodialysis (HD) or peritoneal dialysis (PD) on acute rejection, delayed graft function (DGF), graft and patient survival after cadaveric renal transplantation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We carried out a retrospective analysis of 325 patients (cyclosporin [CyA]-based therapy) who had their first cadaver renal transplant between January 1991 and December 1996 and followed up for a mean of 61 +/- 26 months. They were divided into three groups: HD, PD and CD (where both PD and HD was used for at least 3 months). Delayed graft function was diagnosed if the patient needed dialysis in the first week post-transplant while primary non-function (PNF) was diagnosed if the kidney never achieved function. Graft rejection was confirmed by biopsy; early acute rejection (EAR) was defined as acute rejection occurring before 90 days and late acute rejection (LAR) as one after 90 d.

RESULTS: A total of 183 patients had PD, 117 HD and 25 CD. The mean time period in which the patients were on dialysis for PD was 24 months, HD 34.5 months and CD 50.6 months (p < 0.01). The recipients were matched for age and gender. The donor variables (age, gender and cold ischaemia time) did not differ between the groups. The mean time for the development of first acute rejection following renal transplant in each group was as follows: PD group: 68.8 d, HD group: 81.3 d and CD group: 105 d (p = 0.08). The number of patients who developed EAR was 90 (49.2%) in PD group, 51 (43.6%) in HD group and 11 (56%) in CD group (p = 0.6); the number who developed LAR was nine in PD group (4.9%), six in HD group (5.1%) and one in CD group (4%) (p = 0.9). Fifty-six patients with PD had DGF compared with 58 with HD (p = 0.01). There was no difference in the number and severity of rejection episodes or DGF based on the duration of dialysis. The 5-yr survival of patients was 79% for PD, 81% HD and 78% CD groups (p = n.s), while the graft survival for PD group was 61%, HD group 63% and CD group 74% (p = n.s).

SUMMARY: We could find no difference in the patient or graft survival between patients who had pre-transplant HD, PD or CD. There was no difference in the incidence of acute rejection episodes between the three groups of patients as well. However, we found a significantly higher rate of DGF in the HD versus PD patients.

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