Preemptive kidney transplantation is associated with superior outcomes. Patients who have kidney failure due to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) may not receive a preemptive kidney transplant because of the concern for risk of disease recurrence with shortened graft and patient survival. We identified 8001 patients in the United Network for Organ Sharing dataset who underwent kidney transplantation between October 1987 and February 2009 with kidney failure due to SLE. Seven hundred thirty patients received a preemptive kidney transplant with 7271 patients who were on dialysis before transplantation; their mean ages were 40.0±11.6 years and 36.9±11.7 years, respectively, (P<.01). Women constituted 82.5% of preemptive and 81.4% of non-preemptive groups (P=.47). Preemptive transplant recipients were more likely to receive a living donor kidney transplant (odds ratio [OR]=3.6; 95% confidence interval [CI]=3.3-4.5; P<.01). In unadjusted analyses, preemptive transplantation was associated with lower risk of recipient death (hazard ratio [HR]=0.52; 95% CI=0.38-0.70; P<.01). The difference remained significant after adjustment fr covariates (HR=0.55; 95% CI=0.36-0.84; P<.01). Graft survival was also superior among preemptive kidney transplant recipients in both unadjusted (HR=0.56; 95% CI=0.49-0.68; P<.01), and adjustment analyses (HR=0.69; 95% CI=0.55-0.86; P<.01). We concluded that preemptive kidney transplantation among patients with SLE was associated with superior patient and graft outcomes and should be considered when feasible.
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