Posttransplantation dialysis–associated infections: Morbidity and impact on outcome in liver transplant recipients

Authors

  • Nina Singh,

    MD, Corresponding author
    1. From the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of Pittsburgh, Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, Pittsburgh, PA.
    • VA Medical Center, University Dr C, Pittsburgh, PA 15240. Telephone: 412-688-6179; FAX: 412-688-6950
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  • Timothy Gayowski,

    1. From the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of Pittsburgh, Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, Pittsburgh, PA.
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  • Marilyn M. Wagener

    1. From the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of Pittsburgh, Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, Pittsburgh, PA.
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Abstract

The aim of this study is to assess the predictors, impact on infectious morbidity, and outcome of posttransplantation dialysis in liver transplant recipients and to compare the results with data from patients who did not require dialysis after transplantation. The study sample included 176 consecutive patients undergoing liver transplantation; the median follow-up was 4.3 years. All patients were administered tacrolimus as primary immunosuppression. Overall, 16% (28 of 176 patients) of the patients required dialysis after transplantation. Patients requiring dialysis had significantly greater pretransplantation creatinine levels (2.4 v 1.2 mg/dL; P = .009), were more likely to require pretransplantation dialysis (21% v 1%; P = .0001), and had a greater rate of biopsy-proven rejection episodes (50%, 14 of 28 episodes v 20%, 30 of 148 episodes; P = .0009) and longer posttransplantation intensive care unit lengths of stay (P = .0001). The incidence of infections (91% v 41%; P = .0001) and episodes of infection per patient (2.4 v 0.7 episodes; P = .0001) were significantly greater in patients undergoing dialysis compared with those not undergoing dialysis. There was no difference in the frequency of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection or disease; however, bacterial infections (87% v 31%; P = .0001) and invasive fungal infections (39% v 7%; P = .0001) were significantly more likely to occur in patients requiring dialysis. In logistic regression, dialysis (P = .0006) and CMV infection (P = .007) were independent significant predictors of major infections. Overall survival (assessed by Kaplan-Meier probability) was less in patients undergoing dialysis compared with those not undergoing dialysis (P = .0001). Among dialyzed patients, only 10% of those who survived had an invasive fungal infection compared with 46% of those who died (P = .08); 5 of 6 patients died within 1 month of the fungal infection. The need for dialysis portended a grave outcome in liver transplant recipients and identified a subgroup of patients at a significantly greater risk for major infections, particularly fungal infections, after liver transplantation.

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