Outcome after renal transplantation in a "senior" program: the Croatian experience.
ABSTRACT The Eurotransplant "senior" program allocates kidneys from elderly donors to patients >65 years old. It aims to increase the number of renal transplantations. Kidneys are allocated locally without human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matching to decrease the cold ischemia time. Croatia has introduced its own "senior" program based on HLA matching. We compared results with those from Eurotransplant.
We identified and prospectively followed all patients aged of >or=65 years who underwent a first renal transplantation. We recorded their HLA matching, cold ischemia time, renal function, surgical and medical complications, and duration of hospitalization.
Through October 2007, 22 elderly patients received an allograft from donors who were >65 years old. There were 8 female and 14 male patients of mean age at transplantation of 67.4 years. Mean donor age was 66 years. The number of HLA mismatches ranged from 1 to 5, and cold ischemia time from 7 to 15 hours. One-year patient survival was 95.4%, and graft survival was 81.8%. Delayed graft function, defined as the need for dialysis for >7 days after transplantation, occurred in 63.6% of patients. Older recipients required prolonged hospitalization after transplantation (45 days; range, 16-131). Frequent posttransplant complications included posttransplant diabetes mellitus in 1 patient, delayed wound healing in 5 patients, and lymphocoel in 2 patients. Maligancies occurred in 3 patients, neoplasm of the native kidney, posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease, and skin cancer. One patient experienced acute rejection that was successfully treated with steroids. Seventeen patients experienced 20 viral infections. There was only 1 serious infection (pulmonary tuberculosis). The major problems were cardiovascular complications which occurred in 40.9% of patients.