Background: Preemptive kidney transplantation (PreKT) before initiation of chronic dialysis has been examined recently with favorable results as the most effective treatment for kidney failure. Given that few of these studies are disease specific, the present analyses investigated the outcomes of PreKT by transplantation option and diabetes type.
Methods: The impact of PreKT on posttransplantation mortality and graft failure was examined in 23 238 adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM), receiving either living or deceased donor kidneys or undergoing simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) transplantation between January 1, 1997, and December 31, 2002.
Results: The PreKTs were provided to 14.4% of patients with type 1 DM and 6.7% of patients with type 2 DM. Cox regression models were used to estimate the effect of PreKT on the adjusted risk ratio (RR) of graft failure and mortality. After adjusting for multiple factors, PreKT in this era was associated with lower RR of mortality only among type 1 and type 2 diabetic recipients of transplants from living donors and SPK transplant recipients with type 1 DM (RR, 0.50-0.65; P<.007 for each). The effect on graft failure was less pronounced, significant only for preemptive SPK transplant recipients (RR, 0.79; P=.01 vs nonpreemptive SPK transplant recipients).
Conclusions: These analyses suggest that PreKT has significant benefits for subsets of patients with types 1 and 2 DM and end-stage renal disease. It also suggests a time trend toward less benefit from preemptive transplants from deceased donors in more recent years compared with the early 1990s. This observation and the discrepancies between RR of graft loss and RR of mortality deserve further study.