BACKGROUND.: Induction rabbit antithymocyte globulin (rATG) is largely used in renal allograft recipients at risk for delayed graft function (DGF) and immunologic rejection. The purpose of our study was to characterize risk factors and outcomes associated with DGF when it occurs in recipients undergoing routine rATG induction. METHODS.: We retrospectively reviewed our experience in a predominantly high-risk population receiving modern immunosuppressive regimens. RESULTS.: Of 231 deceased-donor transplants, high-risk characteristics included African American race (68%), retransplants (12%), peak panel reactive antibody of atleast 20% (19%), expanded criteria donor kidney (15%), and cold ischemia time exceeding 24 hr (27%). DGF occurred in 29% of patients. rATG was continued to a dose of 7.3 mg/kg in DGF patients and 5 mg/kg in non-DGF patients (P<0.0001). Risk factors for DGF were recipient body mass index greater than 30 kg/m (odds ratio [OR]=1.5, P=0.02), female donor/male recipient pairings (OR=1.5, P=0.033), sirolimus use (OR=1.7, P=0.003), and donor creatinine more than 1.5 mg/dL (OR=1.6, P=0.016). One-year patient survival (99% non-DGF, 91% DGF; P=0.001) and acute rejection incidence through 36 months (11% non-DGF, 22.4% DGF; P=0.025) differed between groups. DGF patients experienced a higher rejection rate during the second and third years posttransplant. Death-censored graft survival was similar throughout 36 months. CONCLUSION.: In kidney transplantation with routine rATG induction, DGF was related to size and gender, donor creatinine, and immunosuppressive protocol. Despite low first-year rejection rates, DGF was associated with inferior patient survival. Importantly, patients with DGF continued to be at risk for rejection beyond the first year. Donor and recipient selection impacts short-term outcomes, and induction alone may not confer a long-term advantage without further modification of baseline therapy.
- Antithymocyte globulin induction
- Delayed graft function
- Renal transplantation
- Risk factors
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