The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2017 American Transplant Congress (ATC) in Chicago, Illinois. Renal and Urology News‘ staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in transplantation. Check back for the latest news from ATC 2017.

Kidney transplant recipients are at higher risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE) than the general population, and the condition is associated with an elevated risk of death and graft loss, according to study findings presented at the 2017 American Transplant Congress in Chicago.

The retrospective study, by Ngan Lam, MD, of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada and colleagues, compared the incidence rate and 3-year cumulative incidence of VTE in 4343 kidney transplant recipients and a matched sample of 17,372 individuals in the general population. The investigators also compared the risk of death and death-censored graft loss among recipients who experienced VTE and a matched group of recipients who did not.

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During a median follow-up of 5.2 years, VTE developed in 388 transplant patients (8.9%) compared with 254 individuals (1.5%) in the general population (16.3 vs. 2.4 events per 1000 person-years). Compared with the general population, the transplant recipients had a 7-fold higher risk of VTE. The 3-year incidence of VTE in the transplant recipients was 5.5%. For the recipients, the risk of VTE was highest in the early perioperative period and largely declined thereafter. Of the 388 recipients who had VTE, 23 (5.9%) experienced a recurrent VTE more than a year after the initial VTE.

The incidence of death and death-censored graft loss was significantly higher among recipients who experienced post-transplant VTE compared with those who did not (82.2 vs. 27.0 deaths per 1000 person-years and 41.1 vs. 18.7 graft loss events per 1000 person-years, respectively).

Recipients who experienced post-transplant VTE had a 4.1-fold greater risk of death and 2.3-fold greater risk of death-censored graft loss than transplant recipients who did not experience post-transplant VTE.

“These results suggest that strategies could be developed to decrease this risk, particularly in the early perioperative period, and to prevent further post-transplant complications,” Dr Lam told Renal & Urology News.

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Lam NN, Garg AX, Knoll GA, et al. Venous thromboembolism and the risk of death and graft loss in kidney transplant recipients. [abstract] Am J Transplant 2017;17 (suppl 3). Data presented at the 2017 American Transplant Congress in Chicago, April 29-May 3. Abstract 125.