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Improved survival with renal transplantation for end-stage renal disease due to granulomatosis with polyangiitis: data from the United States Renal Data System


Background Renal transplantation is the optimal treatment for selected patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). However, the survival benefit of renal transplantation among patients with ESRD attributed to granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) is unknown.

Methods We identified patients from the United States Renal Data System with ESRD due to GPA (ESRD-GPA) between 1995 and 2014. We restricted our analysis to waitlisted subjects to evaluate the impact of transplantation on mortality. We followed patients until death or the end of follow-up. We compared the relative risk (RR) of all-cause and cause-specific mortality in patients who received a transplant versus non-transplanted patients using a pooled logistic regression model with transplantation as a time-varying exposure.

Results During the study period, 1525 patients were waitlisted and 946 received a renal transplant. Receiving a renal transplant was associated with a 70% reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality in multivariable-adjusted analyses (RR=0.30, 95% CI 0.25 to 0.37), largely attributed to a 90% reduction in the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease (CVD) (RR=0.10, 95% 0.06–0.16).

Discussion Renal transplantation is associated with a significant decrease in all-cause mortality among patients with ESRD attributed to GPA, largely due to a decrease in the risk of death to CVD. Prompt referral for transplantation is critical to optimise outcomes for this patient population.

  • granulomatosis with polyangiitis
  • epidemiology
  • outcomes research

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