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Donor kidney function is considered a critical determinant of allograft survival after live donor (LD) kidney transplantation, but its independent impact on the evolution of graft function is less well defined. The objective of this study was to dissect the relative contribution of LD kidney function to baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of recipients and its decline.
In this study 91 LD kidney transplantations performed between 2007 and 2015 were included. The eGFR of donated kidneys (eGFR-dk) was calculated from total LD eGFR (eGFR-dt) based on the results of isotope nephrography. Recipient eGFR (eGFR-r) determined 6‑monthly until 36 months posttransplantation served as dependent variable in mixed linear models estimating changes in baseline allograft function (intercept) and eGFR‑r slope. Models were adjusted either for eGFR-dk or eGFR-dt, in addition to other potential confounders.
Overall, unadjusted mean eGFR‑r at baseline (6 months) and its annual decline in allograft function were 56.5 mL/min/1.73 m2 and −0.2 mL/min/1.73 m2, respectively. In multivariate analysis, eGFR-dk impacted on baseline eGFR‑r (0.6 mL/min/1.73 m2 mean estimated increase per unit; P = 0.02) but not on its slope. In the eGFR-dt-adjusted model, a marginal effect was observed for LD age (P = 0.05). Both models identified antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) as the strongest risk factor of accelerated loss of allograft function (eGFR‑r slope: approximately −6 mL/min/1.73 m2 per year; P ≤ 0.02).
Donor-related characteristics, most prominently the function of donated kidneys and LD age, were predictive of eGFR at baseline. The ABMR was identified as the cardinal cause of progressive deterioration of allograft function.