Background: Pulmonary embolism (PE) is the most common preventable cause of death in hospitalized patients. Patients with severe chronic kidney disease (CKD) may be at increased risk for PE in comparison to the general population. Whether severe CKD is associated with increased risk for late venous thromboembolism (VTE) in a population of renal transplant recipients has not been determined.
Methods: Using the US Renal Data System database, we studied 28,924 patients receiving a kidney transplant from January 1, 1996, to July 31, 2000, with Medicare as primary payer, followed up until December 31, 2000. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to calculate the association of transplant recipient estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR; by the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease formula) less than 30 mL/min/1.73 m2 (versus >30 mL/min/1.73 m2) 1 year after renal transplantation with Medicare claims for VTE (either deep-venous thrombosis or PE/infarction) 1.5 to 3 years after renal transplantation.
Results: The rate of VTE occurring 1.5 to 3 years after transplantation was 2.9 episodes/1,000 person-years. eGFR less than 30 mL/min/1.73 m2 versus higher at the end of the first year after renal transplantation was associated with significantly increased risk for later VTE (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.05; 95% confidence interval, 1.08 to 3.89).
Conclusion: Patients with severe CKD after renal transplantation should be regarded as high risk for late VTE, which is a potentially preventable cause of death in this population.