New law of renal transplantation in Portugal associated with more acute rejection episodes and higher costs.


The new law implemented in August 2007 changed the criteria to select renal transplantation (RT) candidates in Portugal, favoring hyperimmunized subjects and those on the waiting list for a longer time, making human leukocyte antigen (HLA) compatibilities less important. The authors compared patients who received a deceased donor kidney between 2005 and 2010. Patients were divided in group A who underwent transplantation before August 2007 (n = 132) and group B (n = 125) after that date. We considered a value of P < .05. Overall mean age at RT was 46.6 ± 13.9 years with 58.8% men, 88% on hemodialysis (HD), with a mean dialysis time of 82.8 ± 119 months. Also, 10.5% of patients underwent a previous transplantation. The mean follow-up was 35 ± 17.1 months. Group B showed significant adverse differences, including dialysis time (50.9 vs. 117 months), length of hospitalization (14.4 vs. 23.2 days), need for HD (1 vs. 3.4 days), HLA match (3.3 vs. 1.4 compatibilities), previous sensitization (4.4% vs. 21.7%), acute rejection episodes in the 1st year (23% vs. 37%), greater use of immunosuppressive drugs, higher costs of induction therapy (2790 vs 4360ϵ), and greater costs of drugs during first hospitalization (3456 vs. 7144ϵ). Among the 16 subjects who lost their grafts, 7 were in group A (3 in the first year) and 9 in group B all in the first year. There was a 5.1% decrease in graft survival at 12 months (P = .07). Univariate analysis showed an association of acute rejection episodes with HLA mismatches, hyperimmunized patients, absence of immediate graft function, hospitalization time, longer HD need, and higher creatinine level at months 1, 2, 3, and 6. Multivariate analysis revealed acute rejection episodes to be associated with a lower number of HLA compatibilities (odds ratio = 0.65; 95% confidence interval, [0.46-0.9]). Application of the law has led to a greater number of acute rejection episodes in the first year and increased costs.

DOI: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2012.07.060

Cite this paper

@article{Gonalves2012NewLO, title={New law of renal transplantation in Portugal associated with more acute rejection episodes and higher costs.}, author={J A Gonçalves and C Jorge and A Atalaia and P Matias and M Bruges and R Birne and J Dickson and A Weigert and D Machado}, journal={Transplantation proceedings}, year={2012}, volume={44 8}, pages={2276-9} }