Indexed on: 29 Aug '13Published on: 29 Aug '13Published in: Transplantation
Poor response to erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESA) is associated with morbidity and mortality among dialysis patients. It is unclear whether the risk associated with poor ESA response during dialysis extends beyond kidney transplantation. We examined pretransplantation ESA response and its effect on allograft failure and mortality.The cohort included all adult Medicare recipients from the U.S. Renal Data System who had received a kidney transplant during years 2000 to 2007 and had at least 6 months of hemodialysis immediately before transplantation. ESA hyporesponsiveness was primarily defined as a monthly ESA dose of 75,000 units or higher and hematocrit 33% or less for at least 3 consecutive months in the pretransplantation period. Crude and adjusted Cox proportional hazards models and Kaplan-Meier methods were used to estimate the effect of ESA hyporesponsiveness on allograft failure and all-cause mortality.The study group consisted of 36,450 patients; 1004 exhibited hyporesponsiveness. The adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence interval) for allograft failure and mortality after transplantation were 1.23 (1.10-1.42) and 1.61 (1.43-1.81), respectively, supporting that poor ESA response during hemodialysis is associated with adverse posttransplantation outcomes.ESA hyporesponsiveness may be useful in identifying potential allograft recipients who are at high risk for subsequent morbidity and mortality and may benefit from more intensive pretransplantation and posttransplantation monitoring.