Peri-operative risk factors of chronic kidney disease after liver transplantation

J Nephrol. 2021 Aug 23. doi: 10.1007/s40620-021-01127-6. Online ahead of print.


Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a frequent long-term complication after liver transplantation (LT) and is associated with poor long-term survival. The aim of our study was to identify the risk factors of developing post-transplant CKD at 1 year, during the pre-operative, peri-operative, and post-LT phases.

Methods: All consecutive patients who underwent primary LT between July 2013 and February 2018 were analyzed. To assess the impact of peri- and post-operative factors on renal function at 1 year we performed a propensity score matching on gender, age of the recipient, Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score, etiology of the hepatic disease, and estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) at baseline.

Results: Among the 245 patients who underwent LT, 215 had available data at one year (Y1), and 46% of them had CKD. Eighty-three patients in the CKD group and 83 in the normal renal function group were then matched. The median follow-up was 35 months (27-77). Patients with CKD at Y1 had a decreased 5-year survival compared to patients with normal renal function at one year: figures were 62% and 90%, respectively, p = 0.001. The independent predictors of CKD at Y1 were major complications (OR = 2.2, 95% CI [1.2-4.2]), p = 0.015, intensive care unit (ICU) stay > 5 days (OR = 2.2, 95% CI [1.3-5.1]), p = 0.046, ICU serum lactate level at 24 h ≥ 2.5 mmol/L (OR = 3.8 95% CI [1.1-8]), p = 0.034, need for post-LT renal replacement therapy (OR = 6.4 95% CI [1.4-25]), and MELD score ≥ 20 (OR = 2.1 95% CI [1.1-3.9]), p = 0.019.

Conclusions: The peri-operative period has a major impact on CKD incidence. Early recognition of patients at high risk of CKD may be critical for implementation of nephroprotective measures.

Keywords: Acute kidney injury; Chronic kidney disease; Kidney failure; Liver transplantation; Post-operative outcomes.