Blood transfusions in kidney transplant candidates are common and associated with adverse outcomes

Hassan N. Ibrahim, Melissa A. Skeans, Qi Li, Areef Ishani, Jon J. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Surprisingly, there are no data regarding transfusion frequency, factors associated with transfusion administration in patients on the kidney transplant waiting list, or transfusion impact on graft and recipient outcomes. We used United States Renal Data System data to identify 43025 patients added to the waiting list in 1999-2004 and followed through 2006 to assess the relative risk of post-listing transfusions. In 69991 patients who underwent transplants during the same time period, we assessed the association between pre-transplant transfusions and level of panel-reactive antibody (PRA) at the time of transplant, and associations between PRA and patient outcomes. The three-yr cumulative incidence of transfusions was 26% for patients added to the waiting list in 1999, rising to 30% in 2004. Post-listing transfusions were associated with a 28% decreased likelihood of undergoing transplant, and a more than fourfold increased risk of death. There was a graded association between percent PRA at the time of transplant and adjusted risk of death-censored graft failure, death with function, and the combined event of graft failure and death. These data demonstrate that transfusions remain common and confirm the adverse association between transfusions and PRA, and high PRA and inferior graft and patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-659
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Blood transfusion
  • Graft survival
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Panel-reactive antibody
  • Waiting list


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