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Keywords:

  • Hemodialysis;
  • liver transplantation;
  • outcomes;
  • pretransplant renal failure;
  • renal disease in liver transplantation

The Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) system has dramatically increased the number of recipients requiring pretransplant renal replacement therapy (RRT) prior to liver transplantation (LT). Factors affecting post-LT outcomes and the need for intraoperative RRT (IORRT) were analyzed in 500 consecutive recipients receiving pretransplant RRT, including comparisons among recipients not receiving IORRT (No-IORRT, n = 401), receiving planned IORRT (Pl-IORRT, n = 70), and receiving emergent, unplanned RRT after LT initiation (Em-IORRT, n = 29). Despite a median MELD of 39, overall 30-day, 1-, 3- and 5-year survivals were 93%, 75%, 68% and 65%, respectively. Em-IORRT recipients had significantly more intraoperative complications (arrhythmias, postreperfusion syndrome, coagulopathy) compared with both No-IORRT and Pl-IORRT and greater 30-day graft loss (28% vs. 10%, p = 0.004) and need for retransplantation (24% vs. 10%, p = 0.099) compared with No-IORRT. A risk score based on multivariate predictors of IORRT accurately identified recipients with chronic (sensitivity 84%, specificity 72%, concordance-statistic [c-statistic] 0.829) and acute (sensitivity 93%, specificity 61%, c-statistic 0.776) liver failure requiring IORRT. In this largest experience of LT in recipients receiving RRT, we report excellent survival and propose a practical model that accurately identifies recipients who may benefit from IORRT. For this select group, timely initiation of IORRT reduces intraoperative complications and improves posttransplant outcomes.