Risk factors for delayed graft function and their impact on graft outcomes in live donor kidney transplantation

Int Urol Nephrol. 2021 Mar;53(3):439-446. doi: 10.1007/s11255-020-02687-5. Epub 2021 Jan 4.


Background: Delayed graft function (DGF) is a manifestation of acute kidney injury uniquely framed within the transplant process and a predictor of poor long-term graft function1. It is less common in the setting of living donor (LD) kidney transplantation. However, the detrimental impact of DGF on graft survival is more pronounced in LD2.

Purpose: To study the effects of DGF in the setting of LD kidney transplantation.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of LD kidney transplantations performed between 2010 and 2018 in the UNOS/OPTN database for DGF and its effect on graft survival.

Results: A total of 42,736 LD recipients were identified, of whom 1115 (2.6%) developed DGF. Recipient dialysis status, male gender, diabetes, end-stage renal disease, donor age, right donor nephrectomy, panel reactive antibodies, HLA mismatch, and cold ischemia time were independent predictors of DGF. Three-year graft survival in patients with and without DGF was 89% and 95%, respectively. DGF was the greatest predictor of graft failure at three years (hazard ratio = 1.766, 95% CI: 1.514-2.059, P = 0.001) and was associated with higher rates of rejection (9% vs. 6.28%, P = 0.0003). Among patients with DGF, the graft survival rates with and without rejection were not different.

Conclusion: DGF is a major determinant of poor graft functional outcomes, independent of rejection.

Keywords: Delayed graft function; Graft rejection; Graft survival; Kidney transplantation; Living donors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Delayed Graft Function / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Living Donors
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome