Background: So far, the combined influence of donor age and recipient age on renal allograft survival has not been investigated sufficiently. In this retrospective single-centre study we analysed whether the influence of donor age and recipient age on renal allograft survival are dependent on each other.
Methods: Data from 1269 cadaveric renal allograft transplantations were evaluated. Paediatric donors (<15 years) and paediatric recipients (<15 years) were excluded. Donors and recipients were divided by age: young donors (yd, </=55 years, n=1093), old donors (od, >55 years, n=176), young recipients (yr, </=55 years, n=1058), and old recipients (or, >55 years, n=211). Functional and actual long-term graft survival (8 years) within the four resulting groups was determined: yd/yr (n=926), yd/or (n=167), od/yr (n=132), and od/or (n=44).
Results: Univariate analysis showed that long-term graft survival of both, kidneys from young donors (functional, 66.1 vs 52.2%, P=0.004; actual, 53.3 vs 46.2%, P=0.065) and kidneys from old donors (functional, 68.7 vs 22.5%, P=0.07; actual, 57.1 vs 20.8%, P=0.15) was better in old recipients as compared to young recipients. Multivariate regression analysis revealed that actual graft survival of kidneys from old donors was significantly reduced in young recipients (od/yr) as compared to all other groups (P=0.001; RR, 1. 97; 95% CI, 1.32-2.94). In this group of patients, graft loss was mainly due to acute (33.7%) and chronic (24.0%) rejection.
Conclusion: Transplantation of kidneys from 'old' donors into 'young' recipients should be avoided, and these kidneys should be given to age-matched recipients.