Background: Bacterial endocarditis is associated with poor long-term survival among dialysis patients. Renal transplant patients and those waiting list for renal transplantation are predisposed to developing bacterial endocarditis; data regarding incidence and outcomes are limited.
Methods: Patients hospitalised for bacterial endocarditis were identified from patients transplanted or waiting list between 1995 and 2003. Transplant and waiting list cohorts were derived from the United States Renal Data System (USRDS) database. All patients had Medicare as primary payer. Long-term survival was estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method. Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to identify independent predictors of bacterial endocarditis.
Results: During the study period, 282 renal transplant patients and 549 waiting list patients were hospitalised with bacterial endocarditis. Incidence rates of bacterial endocarditis per 1000 patient-years were 5.6 among waiting list patients, 2.6 among deceased-donor transplant recipients and 1.8 among living-donor transplant recipients. In-hospital mortality rates were 16.0% for the renal transplant cohort and 18.6% for the waiting list cohort. Two-year post-endocarditis survival rates were 58% for transplant patients and 41% for waiting list patients. The most powerful predictors of bacterial endocarditis among transplant patients were donor age, patient age, diabetic end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and prior dialysis time longer than 2 years.
Conclusions: Renal transplant patients hospitalised with bacterial endocarditis sustain high in-hospital and long-term mortality rates. Waiting list patients are at higher risk of developing bacterial endocarditis than renal transplant recipients.