Mortality after Renal Allograft Failure and Return to Dialysis

Amarpali Brar, Mariana Markell, Dimitre G. Stefanov, Edem Timpo, Rahul M. Jindal, Robert Nee, Nabil Sumrani, Devon John, Fasika Tedla, Moro O. Salifu

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38 Scopus citations


Introduction: The outcomes of patients who fail their kidney transplant and return to dialysis (RTD) has not been investigated in a nationally representative sample. We hypothesized that variations in management of transplant chronic kidney disease stage 5 leading to kidney allograft failure (KAF) and RTD, such as access, nutrition, timing of dialysis, and anemia management predict long-term survival. Methods: We used an incident cohort of patients from the United States Renal Data System who initiated hemodialysis between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2008, after KAF. We used Cox regression analysis for statistical associations, with mortality as the primary outcome. Results: We identified 5,077 RTD patients and followed them for a mean of 30.9 ± 22.6 months. Adjusting for all possible confounders at the time of RTD, the adjusted hazards ratio (AHR) for death was increased with lack of arteriovenous fistula at initiation of dialysis (AHR 1.22, 95% CI 1.02-1.46, p = 0.03), albumin <3.5 g/dL (AHR 1.33, 95% CI 1.18-1.49, p = 0.0001), and being underweight (AHR 1.30, 95% CI 1.07-1.58, p = 0.006). Hemoglobin <10 g/dL (AHR 0.96, 95% CI 0.86-1.06, p = 0.46), type of insurance, and zip code-based median household income were not associated with higher mortality. Glomerular filtration rate <10 mL/min/1.73 m2 at time of dialysis initiation (AHR 0.83, 95% CI 0.75-0.93, p = 0.001) was associated with reduction in mortality. Conclusions: Excess mortality risk observed in patients starting dialysis after KAF is multifactorial, including nutritional issues and vascular access. Adequate preparation of patients with failing kidney transplants prior to resuming dialysis may improve outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-186
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Nephrology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • End-stage renal disease
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Mortality
  • Renal allograft failure


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