Renal transplant outcome in high-cardiovascular risk recipients

Tarun K Jeloka, Heather Ross, Robert Smith, Michael Huang, Stanley Fenton, Daniel Cattran, Jeffrey Schiff, Carl Cardella, Edward Cole
Clinical Transplantation 2007, 21 (5): 609-14

BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular (CV) disease is the foremost cause of mortality and an important cause of morbidity in renal transplant recipients. The disease burden is likely to increase as older patients are accepted for transplantation. The outcome of these high-CV risk patients after renal transplantation, especially with known pre-transplant coronary artery disease (CAD), has not been studied. Hence, we looked at the CV outcome in patients with known pre-transplant CAD.

METHODS: All renal transplants performed between 1998 and 2002 at our center, followed up to 2005, were divided into high- and low-risk groups, based on the presence of one or more of the following: pre-transplant angina, myocardial infarction, and positive coronary angiogram. The two groups were compared for post-transplant cardiac events and patient and graft survival. The factors predictive of post-transplant cardiac events were also determined by Cox-regression multivariate analysis.

RESULTS: Forty-five patients (10.5%), out of 429, had post-transplant cardiac events; 31.3% in the high risk, and 6.5% in the low-risk group (p = 0.001). Five-yr patient survival was lower in the high-risk group (82.8% vs. 93.1%, p = 0.004), while five-yr overall graft survival and death censored graft survival were statistically not different (74.8% vs. 84.1%, p = 0.08 and 87.3% vs. 90%, p = 0.25). Forty-one percent of patients who were treated with angioplasty plus stenting or bypass graft prior to transplantation had post-transplant cardiac events, as compared with 28% of those without intervention in the high-risk group and 6.5% of patients in the low-risk group (p = 0.001). Age, pre-transplant cardiac disease, arrhythmias, and low-ejection fraction (< or = 40%) were significant independent predictors of post-transplant cardiac events.

CONCLUSION: Post-transplant survival of high-CV risk patients (with known CAD) is lower than that of low-risk recipients but remains acceptable. Cardiac interventions may reduce perioperative risk but do not reduce the probability of post-transplant cardiac events to that of low-risk group.

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