Long-term effects of delayed graft function duration on function and survival of deceased donor kidney transplants

Abstract Introduction: Delayed graft function (DGF) is a frequent complication after deceased donor kidney transplantation with an impact on the prognosis of the transplant. Despite this, long-term impact of DGF on graft function after deceased donor kidney transplantation has not been properly evaluated. Objective: The main objective of this study was to evaluate risk factors for DGF and the impact of its occurrence and length on graft survival and function. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed in 517 kidney transplant recipients who received a deceased donor organ between January 2008 and December 2013. Results: The incidence of DGF was 69.3% and it was independently associated with donor's final serum creatinine and age, cold ischemia time, use of antibody induction therapy and recipient's diabetes mellitus. The occurrence of DGF was also associated with a higher incidence of Banff ≥ 1A grade acute rejection (P = 0.017), lower graft function up to six years after transplantation and lower death-censored graft survival at 1 and 5 years (P < 0.05). DGF period longer than 14 days was associated with higher incidence of death-censored graft loss (P = 0.038) and poorer graft function (P < 0.001). No differences were found in patient survival. Conclusions: The occurrence of DGF has a long-lasting detrimental impact on graft function and survival and this impact is even more pronounced when DGF lasts longer than two weeks.