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Graft survival after kidney transplantation with standard versus prolonged kidney procurement time.

BACKGROUND: During kidney procurement, after ice removal, kidneys located in the retroperitoneum are at risk for rewarming owing to the time taken to retrieve other abdominal and thoracic organs, which may lead to poorer outcomes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of prolonged kidney procurement time (PKP) on outcomes of kidney transplantation performed at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the cases of all adult (age ≥ 18 yr) patients who underwent kidney transplantation at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre between Jan. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2015. We included all patients who received kidney transplants from deceased donors with a minimum follow-up period of 3 years. We defined PKP as more than 65 minutes from aortic cross-clamp to final organ extraction, and standard procurement time (SP) as 65 minutes or less.

RESULTS: Among the 455 transplantation procedures performed during the study period, we reviewed the cases of 145 patients who received kidneys from Nova Scotian donors and were followed in Nova Scotia. No statistically significant differences were seen in outcomes between kidney-only ( n = 46) and multiorgan ( n = 99) procurement, although more organs from kidney-only donors than multiorgan donors had a Kidney Donor Profile Index score greater than 50% (32 [69.6%] v. 48 [48.5%], p < 0.01). Compared to the SP group ( n = 115), the PKP group ( n = 30) had a higher rate of 30-day graft loss (6.7% v. 0.0%, p < 0.01), a higher incidence of de novo formation of donor-specific antibodies (3 [10.0%] v. 1 [0.9%], p < 0.01) and a lower 5-year graft survival rate (90.0% v. 97.4%, p = 0.03). Left kidneys remained 11 minutes longer on the donor than right kidneys when multiorgan procurement was performed ( p < 0.01), and their 5-year survival rate was significantly lower than that of right kidneys ( p = 0.03).

CONCLUSION: Procurement times longer than 65 minutes may be associated with poorer outcomes after kidney transplantation. Measures to reduce kidney exposure to rewarming during procurement may improve long-term outcomes.

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