Is dialysis modality a factor in the survival of patients initiating dialysis after kidney transplant failure?

Jeffrey Perl, James Dong, Caren Rose, Sarbjit Vanita Jassal, John S. Gill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Kidney transplant failure (TF) is among the leading causes of dialysis initiation. Whether survival is similar for patients treated with peritoneal dialysis (PD) and with hemodialysis (HD) after TF is unclear and may inform decisions concerning dialysis modality selection. Methods: Between 1995 and 2007, 16 113 adult dialysis patients identified from the US Renal Data System initiated dialysis after TF. A multivariable Cox proportional hazards model was used to evaluate the impact of initial dialysis modality (1 865 PD, 14 248 HD) on early (1-year) and overall mortality in an intention-to-treat approach. Results: Compared with HD patients, PD patients were younger (46.1 years vs 49.4 years, p < 0.0001) with fewer comorbidities such as diabetes mellitus (23.1% vs 25.7%, p < 0.0001). After adjustment, survival among PD patients was greater within the first year after dialysis initiation [adjusted hazard ratio (AHR): 0.85; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.74 to 0.97], but lower after 2 years (AHR: 1.15; 95% CI: 1.02 to 1.29). During the entire period of observation, survival in both groups was similar (AHR for PD compared with HD: 1.09; 95% CI: 1.0 to 1.20). In a sensitivity analysis restricted to a cohort of 1865 propensity-matched pairs of HD and PD patients, results were similar (AHR: 1.03; 95% CI: 0.93 to 1.14). Subgroups of patients with a body mass index exceeding 30 kg/m2 [AHR: 1.26; 95% CI: 1.05 to 1.52) and with a baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) less than 5 mL/min/1.73 m2 (AHR: 1.45; 95% CI: 1.05 to 1.98) experienced inferior overall survival when treated with PD. Conclusions: Compared with HD, PD is associated with an early survival advantage, inferior late survival, and similar overall survival in patients initiating dialysis after TF. Those data suggest that increased initial use of PD among patients returning to dialysis after TF may be associated with improved outcomes, except among patients with a higher BMI and those who initiate dialysis at lower levels of eGFR. The reasons behind the inferior late survival seen in PD patients are unclear and require further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)618-628
Number of pages11
JournalPeritoneal Dialysis International
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Hemodialysis
  • Kidney allograft loss
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Survival
  • US Renal Data System

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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