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    ABSTRACT: Impressive renal allograft survival improvement between 1988 and 1995 has been described using projections of half-lives based on limited actual follow up. We aimed, now with sufficient follow up available to calculate real half-lives. Real half-lives calculated from Kaplan-Meier curves for the overall population as well as subsets of repeat transplants and African Americans recipients were examined. Real half-lives were substantially shorter than projected half-lives. As a whole, half-lives have improved by about 2 years between 1988 and 1995 as compared to the earlier projected 6 years of improvement. The improvement seems to be driven primarily by the improvement in graft survival of re-transplants. First transplants showed a cumulative increase in graft survival of less than 6 months. Projected half-lives are a risky estimation of long-term survival especially when based on short actual follow up. First transplant survival has only marginally improved during the early years of post transplant follow up while no significant improvement in long-term survival could be detected between 1988 and 1995. Redirection of attention from early endpoints towards the process of long-term graft loss may be necessary to sustain early gains in the long term.
    American Journal of Transplantation 09/2004; 4(8):1289-95. · 6.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Improvements in long-term kidney graft survival have been recently noted. However, the reasons for this were unclear. This study examined post-transplant renal function within the first year as an independent variable influencing long-term survival. The influence of demographic characteristics (age, sex, race); transplant variables (cadaver versus living donor, cold ischemia time, HLA mismatching, delayed graft function and transplant year), and post-transplant variables (immunosuppressive agents for the prevention of acute rejection, clinical acute rejection and post-transplant renal function in the first year) on graft survival were analyzed for 105,742 adult renal transplants between 1988 and 1998. Renal function in the first year was expressed as serum creatinine at six months and one year and delta creatinine (change in serum creatinine between 6 months and 1 year). Graft half-life was used to measure long-term survival. During this 11-year period, the one-year serum creatinine values for cadaver recipients steadily improved, from 1.82 +/- 0.82 mg/dL in 1988 to 1.67 +/- 0.82 mg/dL in 1998 (P < 0.001), as did the graft half-life. There was a progressive decline in graft half-life for each incremental increase of six month, one year and Delta creatinine for living and cadaver donor transplants as well for cadaver transplants with donor age > and < or =50 years. The Relative Hazard (RH) for graft failure was 1.63 (1.61, 1.65; P < 0.0001) with each increment of 1.0 mg/dL of serum creatinine at one year post-transplant and it increased to 2.26 (2.2, 2.31; P < 0.0001) when the Delta creatinine was 0.5 mg/dL. The RH reduction for graft failure was substantially lower for the years 1993, 1996, 1997 and 1998 when post-transplant renal function was not included in the model (P < 0.05). However, the RH reduction per year was not different when post-transplant creatinine was included in the model, 1.01 (0.94 to 1.05; P = 0.89). In conclusion, one-year creatinine and Delta creatinine values predict long-term renal graft survival. Recent improvements in graft half-life are related to conservation of renal function within the first year post-transplantation.
    Kidney International 07/2002; 62(1):311-8. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The minimum sample size to perform a clinical trial aimed to modify the natural history of chronic allograft nephropathy (CAN) is very large. Since the presence of chronic tubulointerstitial damage in renal protocol biopsy specimens is an independent predictor of late outcome, we evaluated whether protocol biopsies could facilitate the design of trials aimed to prevent or treat CAN. Two hundred eighty-two protocol biopsy specimens were obtained 3 months after transplantation in 280 patients with serum creatinine levels <300 micromol/L, proteinuria <1000 mg/day, and stable function. The specimens were evaluated according to the Banff criteria. Graft survival depended on the presence of CAN and renal transplant vasculopathy (RTV). Thus, biopsy specimens were classified as: (a) no CAN (n=174); (b) CAN without RTV (n=87); and (c) CAN with RTV (n=21). Graft survival at 10 years was 95%, 82%, and 41%, respectively (P=0.001). Total serum cholesterol before transplantation was 4.5+/-1.1, 4.6+/-1.1, and 5.3+/-1.6 mmol/L, respectively (P=0.009) and it was the only predictor of RTV. Power analysis (beta=20%, alpha=5%) was done to evaluate whether protocol biopsies can facilitate the design of clinical trials aimed either to prevent or treat CAN. We showed that the most feasible approach would be to use the presence of CAN as the primary efficacy end point in a prevention trial. To demonstrate a 50% reduction in the incidence of CAN at 3 months, 570 patients would be required. Protocol biopsies may allow a reduction of sample size and especially the time of follow-up in a trial aimed to prevent CAN.
    Transplantation 05/2000; 69(9):1849-55. · 3.78 Impact Factor

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