Infections after kidney transplantation. Does age matter?

Clin Transplant. 2019 Apr;33(4):e13516. doi: 10.1111/ctr.13516. Epub 2019 Mar 28.


Infections threaten successful outcomes after kidney transplantation. Our aim was to determine if the number, types of infections and the risk factors for common infections differed between older compared to younger kidney transplant (KT) recipients in the first year after surgery. We performed a single-center retrospective cohort study. Between 2011 and 2015, 91 KTs were performed in patients ≥65 years of age; these were matched 1:1 (by year of transplantation, sex and race) to controls aged 40-60 years. Over 90% of both groups had an infectious complication. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) viremia were significantly more frequent in older recipients. Older adults had more late onset UTIs, including after stent removal. CMV viremia was more frequent in older adults in the 1-6 months post-transplant period. Due to our center-specific protocol utilizing pre-emptive monitoring in the CMV recipient-seropositive population, the higher CMV incidence in the aged recipient was driven by this subpopulation of older adults. No difference in pneumonias or bloodstream infections were found, nor in surgical complications, rejection or graft loss. Mortality was higher at 1-year post-transplant in the older recipients (9.9% vs 1.1%; P = 0.018). Prophylactic and immunosuppressive strategies may need to be altered for older KT recipients.

Keywords: aged; infection; kidney transplantation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cytomegalovirus / isolation & purification
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / etiology*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / pathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft Rejection / etiology*
  • Graft Rejection / pathology
  • Graft Survival
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / surgery*
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Urinary Tract Infections / etiology*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / pathology
  • Viremia / etiology
  • Viremia / pathology