Background: Although the outcomes of renal transplantation among patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) caused by lupus nephritis have generally been found to be comparable to those of patients with other causes of ESRD, some studies indicate that cadaveric graft failure is more common among these patients. However, most previous studies examined small numbers of patients and did not adjust for important confounding factors.
Methods: Graft failure and patient mortality after the first cadaveric renal transplantation were compared between 772 adults with ESRD caused by lupus nephritis and 32,644 adults with ESRD caused by other causes who received a transplant between 1987 and 1994 and were included in the United States Renal Data System. The median follow-up times were 4.9 and 5.0 years in the two groups, respectively. Multivariate Cox regression models were used to adjust the risks of graft failure and mortality for group differences in recipient and donor characteristics. Similar comparisons were performed between 390 adults with ESRD caused by lupus nephritis and 10,512 adults with ESRD caused by other causes after first living-related renal transplantation.
Results: In an unadjusted analysis, the risk of graft failure after first cadaveric transplant was slightly but significantly greater among patients with ESRD caused by lupus nephritis than among those with ESRD caused by other causes [hazard ratio (HR), 1.13; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1. 26, P = 0.04]. However, after adjustment for potential confounding factors, the risk of graft failure was not increased in patients with ESRD caused by lupus nephritis (HR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.94 to 1.23, P = 0.28). Mortality after the first cadaveric transplantation did not differ between groups. The adjusted risks of graft failure (HR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.84 to 1.32, P = 0.62) and patient mortality (HR = 0. 69; 95% CI, 0.45 to 1.05, P = 0.09) after the first living-related renal transplant were also not significantly higher among patients with ESRD caused by lupus nephritis.
Conclusions: Graft and patient survival after first cadaveric and first living-related renal transplants are similar in patients with ESRD caused by lupus nephritis and patients with ESRD from other causes.