National Assessment of Hospitalization Rates for Incident End-Stage Renal Disease After Liver Transplantation

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We examined the association of incident end-stage renal disease (ESRD) after liver transplantation (LT) and resource utilization using a data linkage between the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients and claims data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


The study cohort consisted of patients aged ≥18 years who underwent deceased donor LT between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2010, with Medicare as primary or secondary insurance and were discharged alive from the index LT hospitalization (n = 7019). The association of ESRD and post-LT hospitalization was assessed by sequential stratification, which entailed prognostic score matching of ESRD-free patients to each LT recipient at ESRD onset. The prognostic score was developed from a model of time to hospitalization and included baseline factors and hospitalization history as predictors.


The overall hospitalization rates for LT recipients with and without ESRD were 2.7 and 1.1 per patient-year at risk, respectively. The total number of days hospitalized patient per year was 23 in ESRD and 7 in non-ESRD LT recipients. The adjusted post-LT hospitalization rate was 97% higher after reaching ESRD compared to non-ESRD (hazard ratio, 1.97; P < 0.0001).


Hospitalization rates increased significantly for LT recipients after ESRD onset. Early risk factor modification efforts targeting patients who are at high ESRD risk may reduce post-LT ESRD incidence and hence decrease morbidity and cost among LT recipients.

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