Serum bilirubin as a predictor of graft outcomes after renal transplant

Am J Clin Exp Urol. 2022 Feb 15;10(1):37-43. eCollection 2022.


Bilirubin is a signaling molecule that alters the immune response and metabolism. While bilirubin has been employed as a marker of renal and cardiovascular health, its role in renal transplant recipients is not known. In this study, we sought to determine the impact of bilirubin (total, direct and indirect) on the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) after renal transplantation. We conducted a retrospective review of pre- and postoperative bilirubin levels in 457 renal transplant recipients at a single center. Pre- and post-rejection bilirubin levels were also assessed in those patients who experienced a rejection episode. No statistically significant differences were found in bilirubin levels during the pre-transplant to post-rejection period among patients who experienced rejection with kidney allograft survival. No statistically significant associations were observed between baseline bilirubin and post-transplant eGFR in the full patient group or within the gender- or race-stratified groups. Baseline bilirubin was not correlated with time to rejection. Our results suggest that bilirubin may not offer renoprotection in renal transplant recipients.

Keywords: GFR; Kidney transplant; bilirubin; nephroprotection; renoprotection.