Background and objectives Patients with kidney failure report a high symptom burden, which likely increases while on dialysis due to physical and mental stressors and decreases after kidney transplantation due to restoration of kidney function. Design, setting, participants, & measurements We leveraged a two-center prospective study of 1298 kidney transplant candidates and 521 recipients (May 2014 to March 2020). Symptom scores (0-100) at evaluation and admission for transplantation were calculated using the Kidney Disease Quality of Life Short-Form Survey, where lower scores represent greater burden, and burden was categorized as very high: 0.0-71.0; high: 71.1-81.0; medium: 81.1-91.0; and low: 91.1-100.0. We estimated adjusted waitlist mortality risk (competing risks regression), change in symptoms between evaluation and transplantation (n5190), and post-transplantation symptom score trajectories (mixed effects models). Results At evaluation, candidates reported being moderately to extremely bothered by fatigue (32%), xeroderma (27%), muscle soreness (26%), and pruritus (25%); 16% reported high and 21% reported very high symptom burden. Candidates with very high symptom burden were at greater waitlist mortality risk (adjusted subdistribution hazard ratio, 1.67; 95% confidence interval, 1.06 to 2.62). By transplantation, 34% experienced an increased symptom burden, whereas 42% remained unchanged. The estimated overall symptom score was 82.3 points at transplantation and 90.6 points at 3 months (10% improvement); the score increased 2.75 points per month (95% confidence interval, 2.38 to 3.13) from 0 to 3 months, and plateaued (20.06 points per month; 95% confidence interval, 20.30 to 0.18) from 3 to 12 months post-transplantation. There were early (first 3 months) improvements in nine of 11 symptoms; pruritus (23% improvement) and fatigue (21% improvement) had the greatest improvements. Conclusions Among candidates, very high symptom burden was associated with waitlist mortality, but for those surviving and undergoing kidney transplantation, symptoms improved.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology|
|State||Published - Jul 2021|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine