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Venous thromboembolism and the risk of death and graft loss in kidney transplant recipients


Background — The implications of venous thromboembolism (VTE) for morbidity and mortality in kidney transplant recipients are not well described.

Methods — We conducted a retrospective study using linked healthcare databases in Ontario, Canada to determine the risk and complications of VTE in kidney transplant recipients from 2003 to 2013. We compared the incidence rate of VTE in recipients (n = 4,343) and a matched (1:4) sample of the general population (n = 17,372). For recipients with evidence of a VTE posttransplant, we compared adverse clinical outcomes (death, graft loss) to matched (1:2) recipients without evidence of a VTE posttransplant.

Results — During a median follow-up of 5.2 years, 388 (8.9%) recipients developed a VTE compared to 254 (1.5%) in the matched general population (16.3 vs. 2.4 events per 1,000 person-years; hazard ratio [HR] 7.1, 95% CI 6.0-8.4; p < 0.0001). Recipients who experienced a posttransplant VTE had a higher risk of death (28.5 vs. 11.2%; HR 4.1, 95% CI 2.9-5.8; p < 0.0001) and death-censored graft loss (13.1 vs. 7.5%; HR 2.3, 95% CI 1.4-3.6; p = 0.0006) compared to matched recipients who did not experience a posttransplant VTE.

Conclusions — Kidney transplant recipients have a sevenfold higher risk of VTE compared to the general population with VTE conferring an increased risk of death and graft loss.



Lam NN, Garg AX, Knoll GA, Kim SJ, Lentine KL, McArthur E, Naylor KL, Bota SE, Sood MM. Am J Nephrol. 2017; 46(4):343-54. Epub 2017 Oct 12.

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