Donation after circulatory death (DCD) kidneys are exposed to warm ischemia, which, coupled with cold ischemia time (CIT) exacerbates delayed graft function (DGF) and is possibly associated with worse graft survival. To analyze the risk of CIT-induced DGF on DCD kidney outcomes, we evaluated national data between 2008-2018 of adult kidney-only recipients of paired DCD kidneys where one kidney recipient experienced DGF and the other did not. Of 5602 paired DCD kidney recipients, multivariate analysis between recipients with higher CIT relative to lower CIT showed that increasing CIT differences had a significant dose-dependent effect on overall graft survival. The graft survival risk was minimal with CIT differences of ≥1-hour (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1.07, 95% CI 0.95- 1.20, n = 5602) and ≥5-hours (aHR 1.09, 95% CI 0.93-1.29, n = 2710) and became significant at CIT differences of ≥10-hours (aHR 1.37, 95% CI 1.05-1.78, n = 1086) and ≥15-hours (aHR 1.78, 95% CI 1.15-2.77, n = 1086). Between each of the 4 delta-CIT levels of shorter and longer CIT, there were no statistically significant differences in the proportion of acute rejection. These results suggest that in the setting of DCD kidney transplantation, DGF, specifically mediated by prolonged CIT, impacts long-term graft outcomes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Keywords: cold ischemia time; delayed graft function; donation after circulatory death; graft survival; kidney transplant.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.