Background: There is a debate about the relative contribution of immunologic (rejection) and nonimmunologic (limited nephron mass) factors in long-term graft survival.
Methods: Using multivariate analysis, we studied the association of the following variables with outcome: delayed graft function (DGF), acute rejection, recipient race (black vs. nonblack), donor age (<50 vs. > or =50), donor race, and donor and recipient gender. Because of the association between DGF and rejection, recipients were grouped as follows: DGF, rejection; DGF, no rejection; no DGF, rejection; no DGF, no rejection. Data were analyzed on 1199 first kidney transplants in adults (752 living donor, 447 cadaver donor) done between January 1, 1985 and December 31, 1996. Two analyses were done: first, all transplants; second, only those with > or =1 year survival. For both, there was no difference in risk factors if death with function was or was not censored.
Results: For all cadaver transplant recipients, risk factors were acute rejection, DGF plus rejection, black recipient race, and donor age > or =50. For living donor recipients, only acute rejection was a risk factor. When only 1-year graft survivors were considered, risk factors were the same: for cadaver recipients, risk factors were acute rejection, DGF plus rejection, black recipient race, and donor age > or =50; for living donor recipients the risk factor was rejection.
Conclusion: We found immunologic factors (rejection with or without DGF) to be significant in both living donor and cadaver donor transplants. Nonim. munologic factors (donor age, recipient race) were significant only in cadaver donor transplants.