Burn patients with history of kidney transplant experience increased incidence of wound infection

Burns. 2020 May;46(3):609-615. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2019.09.001. Epub 2019 Oct 11.


Objective: To determine if history of kidney transplant is an independent risk factor for increased incidence of wound infection and other morbidities in burn patients.

Background: While the goal of immunosuppression post-organ transplantation is to prevent graft rejection, it is often associated with significant adverse effects such as increased susceptibility to infection, drug toxicity, and malignancy. Burn injuries lead to a dysregulated hypermetabolic state and a compromised cutaneous barrier, which predisposes to infection and delayed wound healing. We surmise that a history of kidney transplant increases the risk of wound infection in in-hospital burn victims.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed on 57,948 adults diagnosed in-hospital with a burn injury between 2008-2014, obtained from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) by Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP).

Results: 103 burn victims (0.2%) with a history of kidney transplant (KTX) were identified. Compared to burn patients without a history of transplant (No-KTX), they were older (54.3 ± 13.8 vs 49.8 ± 18.7; p = 0.001), more likely be insured under Medicare (69.9% vs 31.1%; p < 0.001), and less likely to have Medicaid (5.8% vs 17.2%; p = 0.002). Higher in-hospital mortality index scores were observed in KTX compared to no-KTX with p < 0.001. The incidence rates of complications such as wound infection (33.0 vs 16.3; p < 0.001) and acute renal failure (18.4 vs 7.7; p < 0.001) were significantly higher in the KTX group. After adjusting for confounding factors in multivariable analysis, the incidence of wound infection remained significantly higher. Burn patients with history of KTX were not more likely to be treated at a transplant (TX) center. TX centers were determined to have higher mortality rate, longer length of stay, and higher total hospital charges.

Conclusion: History of kidney transplant is an independent risk factor for increased incidence of wound infection in burn patients.

Keywords: Burn; Immunosuppression; Morbidity; Mortality; Transplant.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / epidemiology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Burns / therapy*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Graft Rejection / prevention & control*
  • Hospital Charges / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospital Mortality*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Transplantation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Wound Infection / epidemiology*


  • Immunosuppressive Agents