High-Urgency Renal Transplantation for Patients With Vascular Access Failure: A Single-Center Experience.


Division of Nephrology and Renal Transplantation, Department of Medicine, Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte, EPE, Lisboa, Portugal. Electronic address: [Email]


In the face of access failure for renal replacement therapy or severe complications despite or due to dialysis, high-urgency renal transplant (HU-RT) allocation is possible. Vascular access failure patients have multiple comorbidities and a higher risk of cardiovascular and thrombotic events. Thus, it is presumed that graft and patient survivals might be worse for these patients. The aim of this paper was to analyze the characteristics and outcomes of HU-RT patients due to access failure for renal replacement therapy when comparing them to a population of deceased-donor renal transplant (DDRT) patients. We analyzed data from our Renal Transplantation Unit from January 2006 to April 2017. In this period, 374 patients had a renal transplant. Of these, 11 patients received a high-urgency deceased-donor renal transplant (HU-DDRT). Compared with patients who had a DDRT, HU-DDRT patients were predominantly female (54.5% vs 43.5%, P = .007) and younger (41.6 ± 7.9 vs 49.4 ± 11.8, P = .031). HU-DDRT patients were not significantly more sensitized than DDRT (14.1 ± 27.4 vs 13.5 ± 24.1, P = .935), and had a comparable number of HLA mismatches (3.4 ± 1.4 vs 3.6 ± 1.2, P = .343). Despite the higher incidence in hypertensive (90.9 vs 73.5%, P = .196) and diabetic patients (27.3% vs 15.7%, P = .305) in the HU-DDRT group, this difference was not statistically significant. The percentage of retransplantation was similar in both groups (9.1% vs 7.2%, P = .808). Donor sex, age, and baseline serum creatinine were similar between the groups. There was an increased proportion of expanded criteria donors in HU-DDRT (54.5% vs 25.1%, P = .028). There were no differences in cold or warm ischemia time nor in serum creatinine at discharge or during the first 2 years of follow-up. In both groups, a similar proportion of patients experienced acute rejection episodes. Comparable to DDRT patients, HU-DDRT patients had a high proportion of graft survival at the 1-year follow-up (90.9% vs 93.1%, P = .777). At a 2-year follow-up, graft survival was lower in the HU-DDRT group (81.8% vs 91.5%, P = .267). Mean follow-up for both groups was comparable (78.5 ± 46.7 vs 68.4 ± 40.8 months, P = .424). Overall, graft loss occurred in approximately 36.4% of HU-DDRT patients and 20.9% of DDRT patients (P = .219). Both groups had an overall mortality rate of around 9%. The differences were not statistically significant due to the limited number of patients. More comorbidities and reportedly worse cardiovascular prognosis of access failure (AF) patients and use of expanded criteria donors did not negatively reflect in worse short-term outcomes in our cohort, which highlights the importance of HU-RT in prolonging the survival of AF patients.