Doctors have long known that kidney failure is a complication of organ transplantation. Now, they know more about which types of transplants are most likely to lead to chronic kidney failure. Researchers from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, report patients who have intestine transplants are more likely to have kidney failure compared to those who receive heart-lung transplants.
Doctors studied more than 11,000 patients who received transplants. Of these patients, nearly 29 percent eventually required maintenance dialysis or a kidney transplant. The risk of kidney failure differed according to the type of transplant originally received. Nearly 7 percent of heart-lung transplant patients developed kidney failure, while nearly 22 percent of intestine transplant patients suffered from it. Researchers say older patients are more likely to have complications than younger patients.
Researchers write, "The risk of chronic renal failure and the need for long-term renal-replacement therapy will increase further, given the trend toward increasing longevity in the overall population of recipients of non-renal transplants, which currently numbers more than 100,000." Patients with high blood pressure, diabetes, or preexisting hepatitis C were more likely to have renal failure.
In this study, researchers say chronic kidney failure was associated with an increased risk of death by a factor of more than four. They say this alarming finding points to the need for doctors to educate patients on the high risk of kidney failure following non-renal transplant surgery.