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BACKGROUND: Improved recognition of factors influencing graft survival has led to better short-term kidney transplant outcomes. However, efforts to prevent long-term graft decline and improve graft survival have seen more modest improvements. The adoption of electronic health records has enabled better recording and identification of donor-recipient factors through the use of modern statistical techniques. We have previously shown in a prevalent renal transplant population that episodes of rapid deterioration are associated with graft loss.
METHODS: Estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFR) between 3 and 27 months after transplantation were collected from 310 kidney transplant recipients. We utilised a Bayesian approach to estimate the most likely eGFR trajectory as a smooth curve from an average of 10,000 Monte Carlo samples. The probability of having an episode of rapid deterioration (decline greater than 5 ml/min/1.73 m2 per year in any 1-month period) was calculated. Graft loss and mortality data was collected over a median follow-up period of 8 years. Factors associated with having an episode of rapid deterioration and associations with long-term graft loss were explored.
RESULTS: In multivariable Cox Proportional Hazard analysis, a probability greater than 0.8 of rapid deterioration was associated with long-term death-censored graft loss (Hazard ratio 2.17; 95% Confidence intervals [CI] 1.04-4.55). In separate multivariable logistic regression models, cytomegalovirus (CMV) serostatus donor positive to recipient positive (Odds ratio [OR] 3.82; 95%CI 1.63-8.97), CMV donor positive (OR 2.06; 95%CI 1.15-3.68), and CMV recipient positive (OR 2.03; 95%CI 1.14-3.60) were associated with having a greater than 0.8 probability of an episode of rapid deterioration.
CONCLUSIONS: Early episodes of rapid deterioration are associated with long-term death-censored graft loss and are associated with cytomegalovirus seropositivity. Further study is required to better manage these potentially modifiable risks factors and improve long-term graft survival.