Lack of impact of pre-emptive deceased-donor kidney transplantation on graft outcomes: a propensity score-based study

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2019 May 1;34(5):886-891. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfy317.


Background: A significant number of studies have compared graft outcomes between patients with Pre-emptive Kidney Transplantation (PreKT) and patients on Dialysis before their Kidney Transplantation (DiaKT). These studies have suffered from the limitation that the DiaKT group is composed of all the dialysed patients, including those placed on a waiting list at the time of their first dialysis session. This seriously questions the comparability of these patients with those placed on the waiting list a long time before the need for renal replacement therapy. The aim of this study was to precisely evaluate the causal effect of PreKT from deceased donors.

Methods: Data were extracted from the multicentric French DIVAT (Données Informatisées et VAlidées en Transplantation) cohort. The DiaKT group was composed of patients placed on the waiting list with an initial intention of pre-emptive transplantation. Cause-specific Cox models with propensity scores (inverse probability weighting) were used to study the patient and graft outcomes.

Results: Among the 1138 included patients, 554 patients were in the PreKT group. The outcomes of the PreKT group were similar compared with the DiaKT group. In particular, the life expectancy with a functioning graft was 8.51 years [95% confidence interval (CI) 8.20-8.81] for the PreKT recipients versus 8.49 years (95% CI 8.15-8.84) for the DiaKT recipients.

Conclusions: Our results challenge the utility of PreKTs from deceased donors, especially with regard to the consequential increase in the waiting list.

Keywords: causal inference; dialysis; observational study; patient and graft survival; pre-emptive kidney transplantation.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Kidney Transplantation / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Propensity Score*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Dialysis / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Donors*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Waiting Lists