Pre-emptive kidney transplantation: the attractive alternative

A Asderakis, T Augustine, P Dyer, C Short, B Campbell, N R Parrott, R W Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Dialysis can be life-saving for patients with end-stage renal failure. However, not only is it associated with significant morbidity and a greater mortality than transplantation, but it is also expensive. Therefore renal transplantation is generally regarded as the treatment of choice for patients in whom this form of renal replacement therapy is appropriate. Transplantation usually takes place after a variable period of dialytic therapy, but pre-emptive kidney transplantation (PKT) has established itself as an attractive alternative.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: 1463 consecutive first kidney transplants performed between January 1980 and December 1995 in a single centre were analysed. The 161 patients (11%) transplanted without prior dialysis were compared with the 1302 patients who had been dialysed prior to being transplanted. The pre-emptive group did not differ from the dialysis group in respect of donor age, donor and recipient gender, HLA mismatch, or cold ischaemic time, although there were more live donor transplants within the pre-emptive group.

RESULTS: Delayed graft function occurred more frequently in the dialysis group (25% vs 16%) but more patients experienced an acute rejection episode in the pre-emptive group (67 vs 55%). The actuarial graft survival in the pre-emptive group at 1, 5, and 10 years (84, 76 and 67%) was significantly higher than the respective values in the dialysis group (83, 69, and 56%). Within the live donor recipient cohort the survival advantage for the pre-emptive group was even more striking.

CONCLUSION: Pre-emptive kidney transplantation not only avoids the risks, cost, and inconvenience of dialysis, but is also associated with better graft survival than transplantation after a period of dialysis, particularly within the live donor cohort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1799-803
Number of pages5
JournalNephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1998


  • Adult
  • Cadaver
  • Female
  • Graft Rejection
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic
  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Living Donors
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peritoneal Dialysis
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Time Factors
  • Comparative Study
  • Journal Article


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