Chronic renal dysfunction after liver transplantation in adult patients: prevalence, risk factors, and impact on mortality

Transplant Proc. 2003 Aug;35(5):1907-8. doi: 10.1016/s0041-1345(03)00642-0.


Introduction: Although chronic renal dysfunction (CRD) is a common complication among patients undergoing liver transplantation (OLT) its prevalence, risk factors, and impact on outcome have not been well defined. We aimed to assess the incidence of CRD, its associated risk factors and its impact on outcome.

Patients and methods: The cohort of 289 consecutive adult first liver transplant patients with posttransplant follow-up longer than 6 months received cyclosporine in 230 patients (153 oil-based and 81 microemulsion formulation), tacrolimus in 55. CRD was defined as serum creatinine levels greater than 1.3 mg/dL for more than 6 months.

Results: After a mean follow-up of 67 months, 138 patients (47.8%) displayed CRD. The prevalence of CRD was 30.9%, 41.5%, and 38.9% at 1, 5, and 13 years after OLT, respectively. Twelve patients (4.1%) developed end-stage renal failure. Male gender, older recipient age, pretransplant renal dysfunction and hyperuricemia, posttransplant in-hospital renal dysfunction and hyperuricemia, and renal dysfunction during the first 6 months after OLT were each significantly associated with the development of CRD. Survival was significantly lower (63%) among liver transplant patients with CRD than those without this complication (71%, P=.024).

Conclusions: CRD is an important cause of morbidity after OLT, although end-stage renal disease is infrequent. Because early renal dysfunction is associated with the development of CRD, and decreased long-term patient survival, efforts should be made to avoid early renal dysfunction after liver transplantation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Kidney Diseases / mortality
  • Liver Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Liver Transplantation / mortality
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors