Context: Several observational studies have investigated the significance of hypertension in renal allograft failure; however, these studies have been complicated by the lack of adjustment for baseline renal function, leaving the role of elevated blood pressure in allograft failure unclear.
Objective: To examine the relationship between blood pressure adjusted for renal function and survival after cadaveric allograft transplantation.
Design: Nonconcurrent historical cohort study conducted from 1985 through 1997.
Setting: University teaching hospital.
Participants: A total of 277 patients aged 18 years or older who underwent cadaveric renal transplantation without another simultaneous organ transplantation and whose allograft was functioning for a minimum of 1 year. Follow-up continued through 1997 (mean follow-up, 5.7 years).
Main outcome measure: Time to allograft failure (defined as death, return to dialysis, or retransplantation) by systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressure measurements at 1 year after transplantation.
Results: Multivariate Cox proportional hazards modeling demonstrated that nonwhite ethnicity, history of acute rejection, and nondiabetic kidney disease were significant predictors of failure (P = .01 for all). In addition, the calculated creatinine clearance at 1 year had an adjusted rate ratio (RR) for allograft failure per 10 mL/min (0.17 mL/s) of 0.74 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.62-0.88). The RR per 10-mm Hg increase in blood pressure measured at 1 year after transplantation, after adjustment for creatinine clearance, was 1.15 (95% CI, 1.02-1.30) for systolic pressure, 1.27 (95% CI, 1.01-1.60) for diastolic pressure, and 1.30 (95% CI, 1.05-1.61) for mean arterial pressure. Supplemental analyses that did not include death as a failure event or reduce the minimum allograft survival time for study subjects to 6 months yielded results consistent with the primary analysis. There was no evidence of modification of the blood pressure-allograft failure relationship by ethnicity or diabetes mellitus.
Conclusions: Systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressures at 1 year posttransplantation strongly predict allograft survival adjusted for baseline renal function. More aggressive control of blood pressure may prolong cadaveric allograft survival.