Introduction: Kidney transplant recipients have a higher quality of life and consume fewer health care resources compared with patients on dialysis. However, optimal timing of transplantation has been controversial. Recent studies have clearly demonstrated that preemptive renal transplantation is associated with better graft survival, lower complications, and better cost-effective outcomes. We evaluated differential effects on long-term outcomes according to dialysis type/duration versus no dialysis.
Materials and methods: We retrospectively analyzed 499 cases of first living-donor kidney transplantations performed in our center from January 1990 to January 2007. We compared 3 groups according to graft survival, acute and chronic rejection, postoperative complication, and delayed graft function rates. The mean duration of follow-up was 119.1 +/- 47.2 months.
Results: Among 499 cases, 81 cases were preemptive renal transplantations with 418 cases hemodialysis [HD], 343 cases, peritoneal dialysis [PD] 75 cases) performed after dialysis. The 1-, 5-, and 10-year graft survival rates were 98.8%, 89.5%, 79.4% among the preemptive renal transplantation group and 92.4%, 78.2%, and 69.2% and 85.3%, 74.5%, and 68.2% (P = .03) in the dialysis groups (HD, PD), respectively. The differential effect of pretransplantation HD or PD was not significant. However, the graft survival rates in the HD group were not significantly higher than the PD group (P = .61). The duration of dialysis was not associated with graft survival.
Conclusion: We suggest that preemptive renal transplantation should be the first choice of treatment for patients with end-stage renal disease.