Background: Failed renal allografts are sometimes left in situ for additional clearance and urine production during hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, and low-dose immunosuppressive medication is often continued in such patients. We compared the morbidity and mortality due to infections between patients with (group A) or without (group B) low-dose immunosuppression (i.e., transplantectomy).
Methods: In a hospital-based cohort study, we analyzed data from patient files. We evaluated 37 patients who received 42 kidney transplantations between May 1975 and November 1995.
Results: A total of 2.28 vs. 0.68 infections/patient-year were found in groups A and B, respectively. The odds ratio of one or two infections developing for patients in group A compared with group B was 14.2 (95% confidence interval, 1.4-143.4; P<0.025) and 4.3 (95% confidence interval, 1.1-17.3; P<0.04). A total of five lethal infections were found in group A; no lethal infections were found in group B.
Conclusions: The increase in serious and life-threatening infections associated with even low-dose immunosuppression argues in favor of discontinuation of these drugs. The removal of failed renal allografts should be considered.