Risk factors for cardiac complications after kidney transplantation identified

Last Updated: 2001-07-09 15:24:42 EDT (Reuters Health)

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) – Patients who are older than 50 years of age and those with pre-existing cardiac disease, particularly if diabetic, are significantly more likely than other patients to develop cardiac complications after renal transplantation.

In a study reported in the June issue of Clinical Transplantation, Dr. Abhinav Humar and colleagues, from the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, reviewed 2694 adult renal transplant cases to determine the incidence of perioperative cardiac complications and the relevant risk factors.

The researchers found that 6.1% of patients experienced perioperative cardiac complications. Myocardial infarction occurred in 1.6% of cases, arrhythmia in 2.7%, angina in 1.2%, cardiac arrest in 0.5%, and congestive heart failure in 0.1%.

Patients who were older than 50 years of age or those with pre-existing cardiac disease were roughly three times more likely to experience a cardiac complication than subjects without these risk factors. The risk was "especially high" in diabetic patients with pre-existing cardiac disease, the authors note.

"In the general and vascular surgery literature, the overall rate of perioperative cardiac complications has decreased progressively over the past 20 years," the investigators point out. "This decrease has been accomplished by, first, defining significant risk factors in the study population and then developing interventional strategies designed to improve outcome."

Dr. Humar's team believes that "regular evaluation of transplant candidates, especially those with identified risk factors, may help to further decrease the incidence of perioperative cardiac complications."

Clin Transplant 2001;15:154-158.

-Westport Newsroom 203 319 2700

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