Prospective evaluation of pretransplant blood transfusions in cadaver kidney recipients

Transplantation. 1997 Apr 15;63(7):964-7. doi: 10.1097/00007890-199704150-00010.


Background: A beneficial effect of pretransplant transfusions on graft survival was demonstrated in the early 1970s. In the mid-1980s, however, retrospective studies showed that transfusions had lost their graft-protective effect in the cyclosporine era. During the last 10 years, deliberate transfusion pretreatment of transplant patients has been discontinued.

Methods: Within a collaborative project of 14 transplant centers, prospective recipients of cadaver kidney grafts were randomized to receive either three pretransplant transfusions or transplants without transfusions. RESULTS; The graft survival rate was significantly higher in the 205 transfusion recipients than in the 218 patients who did not receive transfusions (at 1 year: 90+/-2% vs. 82+/-3%, P=0.020; at 5 years: 79+/-3% vs. 70+/-4%, P=0.025). Cox regression analysis showed that this effect was independent of age, gender, underlying disease, prophylaxis with antilymphocyte antibodies, and preformed lymphocytotoxins. CONCLUSIONS; Transfusion pretreatment improves the outcome of cadaver kidney transplants even with the use of modern immunosuppressive regimens.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Blood Transfusion* / statistics & numerical data
  • Cadaver
  • Graft Rejection / epidemiology
  • Graft Rejection / prevention & control
  • Graft Survival*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Time Factors