Changes in clinical indicators related to the transition from dialysis to kidney transplantation-data from the ERA-EDTA Registry

Clin Kidney J. 2019 Jul 1;13(2):188-198. doi: 10.1093/ckj/sfz062. eCollection 2020 Apr.

Abstract

Background: Kidney transplantation should improve abnormalities that are common during dialysis treatment, like anaemia and mineral and bone disorder. However, its impact is incompletely understood. We therefore aimed to assess changes in clinical indicators after the transition from chronic dialysis to kidney transplantation.

Methods: We used European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association Registry data and included adult dialysis patients for whom data on clinical indicators before and after transplantation (2005-15) were available. Linear mixed models were used to quantify the effect of transplantation and of time after transplantation for each indicator.

Results: In total, 16 312 patients were included. The mean age at transplantation was 50.1 (standard deviation 14.2) years, 62.9% were male and 70.2% were on haemodialysis before transplantation. Total, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglycerides increased right after transplantation but decreased thereafter. All other indicators normalized or approached the target range soon after transplantation and these improvements were sustained for the first 4 years of follow-up. In patients with higher estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) levels (30-60 and >60 mL/min/1.73 m2), the improvement of haemoglobin, ferritin, ionized calcium, phosphate, parathyroid hormone, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, albumin and C-reactive protein levels was more pronounced than in patients with a lower eGFR (<30 mL/min/1.73 m2).

Conclusions: Except for total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, all clinical indicators improved after transplantation. These improvements were related to eGFR. Nevertheless, values remained out of range in a considerable proportion of patients and anaemia and hyperparathyroidism were still common problems. Further research is needed to understand the complex relationship between eGFR and the different clinical indicators.

Keywords: anaemia; dialysis; dyslipidaemia; inflammation; kidney transplantation; mineral metabolism.