Changes in Renal Function After Heart Transplantation

Transplant Proc. 2018 Nov;50(9):2751-2755. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2018.02.196. Epub 2018 Mar 21.


Renal function after heart transplantation (HTx) typically follows a biphasic pattern and an initial decay within 1 to 2 years. Trajectory of renal function after HTx is less reported, especially in Asia. The aims of this cohort study were to describe the changes in HTx recipients' serum creatinine and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) levels 5 years following HTx in Taiwan.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 5 years of 440 consecutive adult patients (≥ 18 years) who underwent first HTx from June 1987 to December 2014 at the National Taiwan University Hospital.

Results: Among 422 participants, they received induction therapy consisting of intravenous rabbit antithymocyte globulin. Here, we illustrated the trends over the years by dividing the subjects into 2 groups based on their immunosuppressive regimen of transplantation (1987-2002 and 2003-2014) The pretransplantation median serum creatinine concentration level was 1.2 mg/dL, rose to 1.4 mg/dL at 3 months after surgery, and remained steady over 5 years after HTx. Pretransplant median eGFR was 67 mL/min/1.73 m2.The median serum creatinine concentration level and eGFR at baseline were all significantly difference than pretransplantation (P > .05). This result has showed that an initial steep decline within 3 months after transplant remained stable 5 years after HTx.

Conclusion: As renal function deteriorates after HTx, we observed a steep decline in serum creatinine level and glomerular filtration rate within the 3 months after HTx, followed by a slow rate of deterioration over the following months. We found a time-related progressive deterioration in renal function during the 5 years after HTx.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Heart Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Insufficiency / epidemiology
  • Renal Insufficiency / etiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Taiwan


  • Creatinine