Kidney transplantation in previous heart or lung recipients

Bonnie Lonze, D. S. Warren, Z. A. Stewart, Nabil N Dagher, A. L. Singer, A. S. Shah, Robert Avery Montgomery, Dorry Segev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Outcomes after heart and lung transplants have improved, and many recipients survive long enough to develop secondary renal failure, yet remain healthy enough to undergo kidney transplantation. We used national data reported to United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) to evaluate outcomes of 568 kidney after heart (KAH) and 210 kidney after lung (KAL) transplants performed between 1995 and 2008. Median time to kidney transplant was 100.3 months after heart, and 90.2 months after lung transplant. Renal failure was attributed to calcineurin inhibitor toxicity in most patients. Outcomes were compared with primary kidney recipients using matched controls (MC) to account for donor, recipient and graft characteristics. Although 5-year renal graft survival was lower than primary kidney recipients (61% KAH vs. 73.8% MC, p < 0.001; 62.6% KAL vs. 82.9% MC, p < 0.001), death-censored graft survival was comparable (84.9% KAH vs. 88.2% MC, p = 0.1; 87.6% KAL vs. 91.8% MC, p = 0.6). Furthermore, renal transplantation reduced the risk of death compared with dialysis by 43% for KAH and 54% for KAL recipients. Our findings that renal grafts function well and provide survival benefit in KAH and KAL recipients, but are limited in longevity by the general life expectancy of these recipients, might help inform clinical decision-making and allocation in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-585
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Heart transplantation
  • Lung transplantation
  • Renal transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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