Background: Failure to complete the medical evaluation for renal transplantation may impede access to transplantation and preclude the possibility of preemptive transplantation. We sought to (1) characterize completion rates of the transplantation medical evaluation and (2) determine factors associated with completion of the evaluation. We hypothesized that patients not on dialysis therapy complete the evaluation process more quickly than patients receiving dialysis.
Methods: Between September 2002 and September 2003, a total of 175 patients who were evaluated for renal transplantation at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania were enrolled in a prospective cohort study. Patients completed a self-administered questionnaire. The progress of patients' medical evaluations, including completion of requested tests and evaluations, was extracted from the electronic medical record.
Results: During follow-up, 100 patients (57.1%) completed the evaluation, including tests and evaluations requested by the transplant team, whereas 49 patients (28.0%) had tests still pending. The remaining patients died (2.3%), lost interest in transplantation (1.1%), or were immediately (7.4%) or later (4.0%) declared medically ineligible for transplantation. In the multivariable Cox proportional hazards model, black race (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.63; 95% confidence interval, 0.40 to 1.00; P = 0.05) was associated with time to completion of the transplantation evaluation, but receiving maintenance dialysis at the time of the initial transplantation evaluation was not (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.92; 95% confidence interval, 0.60 to 1.42; P = 0.72).
Conclusion: Completion of the medical evaluation for transplantation is slower in blacks than nonblacks. We were unable to detect a significant difference between dialysis and nondialysis patients in rates of completion of the evaluation.