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Risk of major hemorrhage after kidney transplantation


Background — Major hemorrhagic events are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The researchers examined the three-year cumulative incidence of hospitalization with major nontraumatic hemorrhage after kidney transplantation.

Methods — The researchers performed a retrospective cohort study using healthcare administrative data of all adult-incident kidney-only transplantation recipients in Ontario, Canada from 1994 to 2009. The researchers calculated the three-year cumulative incidence, event rate, and incident rate ratio of hospitalization with major hemorrhage, its subtypes and those undergoing a hemorrhage-related procedure. Results were stratified by patient age and donor type and compared to a random and propensity-score matched sample from the general population.

Results — Among 4,958 kidney transplant recipients, the three-year cumulative incidence of hospitalization with nontraumatic major hemorrhage was 3.5% (95% confidence interval [CI] 3.0-4.1%, 12.7 events per 1,000 patient-years) compared to 0.4% (95% CI 0.4-0.5%) in the general population (RR = 8.2, 95% CI 6.9-9.7). The crude risk of hemorrhage was 3-9-fold higher in all subtypes (upper/lower gastrointestinal, intra-cranial) and 15-fold higher for gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures compared to the random sample from the general population. After propensity score matching, the relative risk for major hemorrhage and its subtypes attenuated but remained elevated. The cumulative incidence of hemorrhage was higher for older individuals and those with a deceased donor kidney.

Conclusion — Kidney transplantation recipients have a higher risk of hospitalization with hemorrhage compared to the general population, with about 1 in 30 recipients experiencing a major hemorrhage in the three years following transplant.



Sood MM, Garg AX, Bota SE, Marisiddappa L, McArthur E, Naylor KL, Kapral MK, Kim SJ, Lam NN, Molnar AO, Harel Z, Perl J, Knoll GA. Am J Nephrol. 2015;41(1):73-80.