Reliable data regarding absolute and relative risks of death and graft failure after coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in renal transplant patients are unavailable. Renal transplant patients undergoing inpatient CABG (n=1400) or PCI (n=4097) were identified from United States Renal Data System data. Cumulative incidence of nonfatal graft failure and death was reported for observed events. A Cox model with the Fine-Gray method was used to account for competing risks in assessing relative hazards. Age and race were similarly distributed; patients who underwent CABG were more likely to have acute arrhythmia and congestive heart failure but less likely to have acute myocardial infarction on index admission. In-hospital death was more frequent after CABG (5.6% versus 3.0%, P<0.001). Cumulative incidence of death, graft failure, and the combined outcome at 3 years were 23.1%, 15.4%, and 38.5% after CABG and 22.9%, 13.3%, and 36.1% after PCI, respectively. In adjusted analyses, CABG was not associated with increased risk of graft failure versus PCI during the first 6 months (hazard ratio 1.06, 95% CI 0.79 to 1.43) or from 6 to 36 months (0.98, 0.78 to 1.22). Risk of death increased after CABG during the first 3 months (1.37, 1.08 to 1.73), but decreased from 6 months on (0.76, 0.63 to 0.93). CABG does not appear to be associated with a difference in risk of graft failure compared with PCI in renal transplant patients. Compared with PCI, adjusted risk of early death is higher after CABG; however, mortality from 6 months on is lower.