Donation after cardiac death liver transplantation is associated with increased risk of end-stage renal disease

Rebecca L. Ruebner, Peter P. Reese, Peter L. Abt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Limited organ supply has led to greater use of liver allografts with higher donor risk indices (DRI) and/or donated after cardiac death (DCD). DCD status is associated with acute kidney injury after liver transplantation; however, less is known about the association between donor quality and end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Using SRTR data, we assembled a cohort of liver transplant recipients from 2/2002 to 12/2010. We fit multivariable Cox regression models for ESRD. Model 1 included total DRI; model 2 included components of DRI, including DCD, as separate variables. Forty thousand four hundred and sixty-three liver transplant recipients were included. Median DRI was 1.40 (IQR 1.14, 1.72); 1822 (5%) received DCD livers. During median follow-up of 3.93 years, ESRD occurred in 2008 (5%) and death in 11 075 (27%) subjects. There was a stepwise increase in ESRD risk with higher DRI (DRI ≥1.14 and <1.40: HR 1.17, P = 0.06; DRI ≥1.40 and <1.72: HR 1.29, P = 0.003; DRI ≥1.72: HR 1.39, P < 0.001, compared with DRI <1.14). Adjusting for DRI components separately, DCD status was most strongly associated with ESRD (HR 1.40, P = 0.008). Higher DRI is associated with ESRD after liver transplantation, driven in part by DCD status. Donor quality is an important predictor of long-term renal outcomes in liver transplant recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1263-1271
Number of pages9
JournalTransplant International
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiac death donors
  • donor risk
  • end-stage renal disease
  • liver transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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