Evaluation of technical urinary tract complications in kidney transplantation recipients with a prolonged dialysis history

Sean P. Martin, Christine Lum, Kara Kushwaha, Cameron Goldbeck, Yong Kwon, Kambiz Etesami, Jim Kim, Juliet Emamaullee, Shannon M. Zielsdorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The kidney transplant waiting list continues to expand, resulting in prolonged dialysis times exceeding 8 years before transplantation in some regions. The relationship between long-term dialysis and urinary tract complications after kidney transplant remains largely unexplored. This study aims to evaluate post–kidney transplant complications in patients with a history of prolonged dialysis. Methods: A single-center, retrospective cohort study of patients maintained on dialysis ≥8 years before kidney transplant between January 2000 and July 2020 was conducted. Clinical variables, including demographics and comorbidities, were reviewed. The primary objective was the development of a technical urinary tract complication. Secondary outcomes included any postoperative complication by type, stratified by medical and surgical complications. Results: Overall, 376 patients met the inclusion criteria. The mean pre–kidney transplant dialysis time was 10.2 ± 2.6 years. The majority (65.7%) of the study participants were anuric. Four patients (1.1%) experienced a urine leak, and 8 patients (2.1%) had a ureteral stricture. Any complication was observed in 111 (29.5%) patients, with urinary tract infections being the most common. Urinary catheters remained in place for a median of 4 (3, 5) days. Drains were commonly used (62.8%) for a median of 5 (4, 6) days. Conclusion: In our large, single-center experience with kidney transplants in high-risk patients with prolonged dialysis and anuria, the technical urinary tract complications rate remained low. With the current literature consisting of small cohorts and having relatively short pre–kidney transplant dialysis periods, our analysis addresses the shortcomings of the literature while suggesting that this patient population may not truly be “high risk.”

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-141
Number of pages6
JournalSurgery (United States)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery

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