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There is a paucity of data regarding the complications in kidney transplant patients who may require intensive care unit (ICU) management, despite being the most common solid organ transplant worldwide.To identify the main reasons for ICU admission and to determine the factors associated with hospital mortality in kidney transplant recipients.This single-center retrospective cohort study was conducted between September 2013 and June 2014, including all consecutive kidney transplant patients requiring ICU admission. We collected data on patient demographics, transplant characteristics, clinical data, and prognostic scores. The independent determinants of hospital mortality were identified by multiple logistic regression analysis. We also assessed the performance of Simplified Acute Physiology Score 3 (SAPS 3) and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) scores.We analyzed data from 413 patients, the majority of whom were admitted late after renal transplantation (1169 days; 63-3003 days). The main reason for admission was sepsis (33.2%), followed by cardiovascular disease (16%). Age (odds ratio [OR] 1.05, confidence interval [CI], 1.01-1.09), SAPS 3 score (OR 1.04, CI, 1.01-1.08), the need for mechanical ventilation (OR 26.47, CI, 10.30-68.08), and vasopressor use (OR 3.34, CI, 1.37-8.13) were independently associated with hospital mortality. The performance of SAPS 3 and APACHE II scores was poor in this population and overestimated the mortality rates.Sepsis was the main reason for ICU admission in kidney transplant recipients, followed by cardiovascular disease. Age and disease severity were associated with hospital mortality.