Background: While graft survival rates in the short term have improved dramatically, only a modest improvement has been shown in long-term graft survival rates. We evaluated the causes of late failure in renal allograft recipients treated with cyclosporine A (CsA).
Methods: A total of 864 adults with a functioning graft at one year were evaluated. The end points were dialysis or death with a functioning graft.
Results: The 13-year patient and graft survival probabilities were 0.82 and 0.64, respectively. The graft half-life was 20.1 years and the pure graft half-life was 31.1 years. At multivariate analysis, plasma creatinine at one year (P = 0.0006; RR 1.72), low-density lipoproteins (LDL) at one year (P = 0.0014; RR 1.65), older age (P = 0.0128; RR 1.50) and delayed graft function (P = 0.0350; RR 1.45) were associated with the end point. Chronic allograft nephropathy was the cause of failure in 97 patients, death in 70, recurrence of glomerulonephritis in 24, other events in 6. Cardiovascular complications were the most frequent cause of death. Post-transplant cardiovascular events were associated with: pre-transplant cardiovascular events (P = 0.0012; RR 2.65), older age (P = 0.0001; RR 2.46), pre-transplant arterial hypertension (P = 0.0249; RR 1.57), smoking (P = 0.0235; RR 1.29), duration of dialysis (P = 0.0229; RR 1.28). Mean serum cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides were each significantly associated post-transplant cardiovascular events.
Conclusions: The graft half-life was 20 years. Chronic allograft nephropathy was the leading cause of late failure, followed by death. If the data were censored by death, the projected pure graft half-life would be 31.1 years. Pre-transplant selection and preparation of the candidate as well as appropriate life style are recommended to improve life expectancy and extend graft survival.