Body Mass Index and Glomerular Hyperfiltration in Renal Transplant Recipients: Cross-Sectional Analysis and Long-Term Impact

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Abstract

Obesity is a risk factor for renal graft loss. Higher body mass index (BMI) in native kidneys is associated with glomerular hyperfiltration. Whether higher BMI in renal transplants is associated with hyperfiltration is unknown. We investigated the impact of BMI on renal hemodynamics 1 year post-transplant. We analyzed glomerular filtration rate (GFR, 125I-iothalamate) and effective renal plasma flow (ERPF, 131I-hippurate) in 838 kidney transplants. Data were analyzed for all patients and for the subpopulation without diabetes. Long-term impact of BMI and renal hemodynamics were explored by Cox-regression. With higher BMI GFR and filtration fraction (FF) increased significantly. Multivariate analysis supported impact of BMI on GFR (adjusted r2 of the model 0.275) and FF (adjusted r2 of the model 0.158). This association was not explained by diabetes mellitus. On Cox-regression analysis, lower GFR and higher FF were independent determinants of overall graft loss and graft loss by patient mortality. Lower GFR and higher BMI were determinants of death-censored graft loss, with borderline contribution of higher FF. In renal transplants higher BMI is independently associated with higher GFR and FF one year posttransplant, suggesting glomerular hyperfiltration with altered afferent–efferent balance. Mechanisms underlying the long-term prognostic impact of hyperfiltration deserve further exploration.

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