Factors contributing to long graft survival in non-heart-beating cadaveric renal transplantation in Japan: a single-center study at Kitasato University

Clin Transplant. 2002 Dec;16(6):397-404. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-0012.2002.02044.x.


A total of 107 cadaveric kidneys from non-heart-beating donors (NHBDs) have been transplanted between 1974 and 2000 at Kitasato University Hospital, Sagamihara, Japan. The patient survival of the 107 recipients of cadaveric renal transplants at 1, 5 and 10 yr was 0.857, 0.770 and 0.746, respectively. The 50% graft survival was 3.8 yr. The 5 and 10-yr graft survival was 0.457 and 0.337, respectively. Twenty of the 107 recipients of non-heart-beating cadaveric renal transplantation had graft survival longer than 10 yr. Of these 20 patients, 14 survivors still maintain functioning renal grafts and two died with functioning graft, although the remaining four reverted to dialysis because of chronic rejection and nephropathy. The average graft survival of these 20 patients at the time of study was 13.3 yr and the longest was 21.4 yr. The average serum creatinine level at 10 yr after transplantation was 1.63 mg/dL, almost identical to that at 5 yr post-transplant. The donors aged on average 40.2 yr; 13 were male and seven were female. The youngest donor was 9-yr-old and the oldest was 66. The graft survival was significantly better in the group with donor age younger than 55 yr (Log-rank: p=0.007). The average weight of the renal graft was not different between the long and shorter graft survival groups. The average warm ischemic time and total ischemic time were 9.7 and 539.7 min, respectively. The duration of post-transplant acute tubular necrosis averaged 9.2 days. These parameters tended to be shorter than those in recipients with graft survival >10 yr, but with no statistical significance. The mean numbers of acute rejection (AR) episode within 3 months after transplantation were 0.25 +/- 0.66 and 0.92 +/- 0.90 (p=0.020) in long survival and shorter survival groups, respectively. Long survivors had a significantly lower incidence of AR. Two of 20 cases received conventional immunosuppression with prednisolone, azathioprine and mizoribin, and 18 had prednisolone and calcineurin inhibitor (CNI). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a significant contribution of CNI to graft survival (p=0.036). However, the graft survival reduction rate after 1 yr post-transplant did not differ between conventional and CNI immunosuppression. These data suggest that renal grafts retrieved with proper organ procurement procedures from NHBDs may survive long-term and help to overcome donor shortage.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Graft Survival*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Japan
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Kidney Transplantation / mortality*
  • Kidney Transplantation / statistics & numerical data
  • Kidney Tubular Necrosis, Acute / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cyclosporine