Delayed graft function influences renal function, but not survival

Kidney Int. 2000 Aug;58(2):859-66. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1755.2000.00235.x.


Background: In renal transplantation, the impact of delayed graft function (DGF) on prognosis is controversial. We analyzed the risk factors of DGF and its impact on graft function and prognosis.

Methods: Seven hundred thirty-four cadaveric renal transplants performed between 1983 and 1997 were analyzed. DGF was diagnosed when serum creatinine levels increased, remained unchanged, or decreased less than 10% per day in three consecutive days in the first week after transplantation. Creatinine clearances of more or less than 50 or 30 mL/min at one year were used as cut-off points for optimal and suboptimal graft function, respectively. The logistic regression model was used to identify independent risk factor related to DGF and renal function one year after transplantation. The Cox regression model was used to examine the influence of DGF on long-term graft survival.

Results: Multivariate analysis revealed the following risk factors for DGF: recipient pretransplantation mean arterial blood pressure of less than 100 mm Hg (OR = 2.08, 95% CI, 1.43 to 3.03), female donor to male recipient combination (OR = 1.55, 95% CI, 1.02 to 2.35), donor age of more than 50 years (OR = 2.21, 95% CI, 1.49 to 3.26), cold ischemia time of more than 28 hours (OR = 1.78, 95% CI, 1.19 to 2.63), and peak panel reactive antibodies of more than 50% (OR = 1.7, 95% CI, 1.15 to 2.55). The incidence of DGF was one of the independent risk factors for suboptimal graft function at one year (OR = 1.68, 95% CI, 1.14 to 2.48), together with donor age of more than 50 years (OR = 2.39, 95% CI, 1.61 to 3.57), female donor gender (OR = 1.99, 95% CI, 1.42 to 2.78), the occurrence of acute rejection episodes (OR = 2.66, 95% CI, 1.87 to 3.78), peak panel-reactive antibodies of more than 50% (OR = 1.67, 95% CI, 1.15 to 2.47), and sharing of 1 to 3 versus 4 to 8 cross-reactive antigens groups (OR = 1.65, 95% CI, 1.09 to 2. 49). Moreover, DGF was one of the two independent risk factors for acute rejection episodes, but it had no independent effect on graft survival.

Conclusion: Several risk factors for DGF were identified, of which a low recipient pretransplant mean arterial blood pressure, the transplantation of kidneys from female donors to male recipients, and a prolonged cold ischemia time are potentially avoidable. Although DGF is one of the several risk factors of acute rejection and suboptimal function at one year, it is not independently associated with an increased rate of graft loss.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Cadaver
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft Rejection / diagnosis
  • Graft Rejection / epidemiology*
  • Graft Rejection / physiopathology
  • Graft Survival / physiology*
  • HLA-DR Antigens / analysis
  • Humans
  • Kidney / blood supply
  • Kidney / physiology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / surgery*
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reperfusion Injury / physiopathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors


  • HLA-DR Antigens