Hospitalizations for bacterial septicemia after renal transplantation in the united states

Am J Nephrol. Mar-Apr 2001;21(2):120-7. doi: 10.1159/000046234.


Background: It is common belief in the transplant community that rates of septicemia in transplant recipients have declined, but this has not been studied in a national population.

Methods: Therefore, 33,479 renal transplant recipients in the United States Renal Data System from July 1, 1994 to June 30, 1997 were analyzed in a retrospective registry study of the incidence, associated factors, and mortality of hospitalizations with a primary discharge diagnosis of septicemia (ICD9 Code 038.x).

Results: Renal transplant recipients had an adjusted incidence ratio of hospitalizations for septicemia of 41.52 (95% CI 35.45-48.96) compared to the general population. Hospitalizations for septicemia were most commonly associated with urinary tract infection as a secondary diagnosis (30.6%). In multivariate analysis, diabetes and urologic disease, female gender, delayed graft function, rejection, and pre-transplant dialysis, but not induction antibody therapy, were associated with hospitalizations for septicemia. Recipients hospitalized for septicemia had a mean patient survival of 9.03 years (95% CI 7.42-10.63) compared to 15.73 years (95% CI 14.77-16.69) for all other recipients.

Conclusions: Even in the modern era, renal transplant recipients remain at high risk for hospitalizations for septicemia, which are associated with substantially decreased patient survival. Newly identified risks in this population were female recipients and pre-transplant dialysis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bacteremia / epidemiology*
  • Bacteremia / etiology
  • Bacteremia / mortality
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / surgery
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology