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Transplant centers that assess frailty as part of clinical practice have better outcomes

Chen, Xiaomeng; Liu, Yi; Thompson, Valerie; Chu, Nadia M; King, Elizabeth A; Walston, Jeremy D; Kobashigawa, Jon A; Dadhania, Darshana M; Segev, Dorry L; McAdams-DeMarco, Mara A
BACKGROUND:Frailty predicts adverse post-kidney transplant (KT) outcomes, yet the impact of frailty assessment on center-level outcomes remains unclear. We sought to test whether transplant centers assessing frailty as part of clinical practice have better pre- and post-KT outcomes in all adult patients (≥18 years) and older patients (≥65 years). METHODS:In a survey of US transplant centers (11/2017-4/2018), 132 (response rate = 65.3%) centers reported their frailty assessment practices (frequency and specific tool) at KT evaluation and admission. Assessment frequency was categorized as never, sometime, and always; type of assessment tool was categorized as none, validated (for post-KT risk prediction), and any other tool. Center characteristics and clinical outcomes for adult patients during 2017-2019 were gleaned from the transplant national registry (Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients). Poisson regression was used to estimate incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of waitlist outcomes (waitlist mortality, transplantation) in candidates and IRRs of post-KT outcomes (all-cause mortality, death-censored graft loss) in recipients by frailty assessment frequency. We also estimated IRRs of waitlist outcomes by type of assessment tool at evaluation. All models were adjusted for case mix and center characteristics. RESULTS:Assessing frailty at evaluation was associated with lower waitlist mortality rate (always IRR = 0.91,95%CI:0.84-0.99; sometimes = 0.89,95%CI:0.83-0.96) and KT rate (always = 0.94,95%CI:0.91-0.97; sometimes = 0.88,95%CI:0.85-0.90); the associations with waitlist mortality rate (always = 0.86,95%CI:0.74-0.99; sometimes = 0.83,95%CI:0.73-0.94) and KT rate (always = 0.82,95%CI:0.77-0.88; sometimes = 0.92,95%CI:0.87-0.98) were stronger in older patients. Furthermore, using validated (IRR = 0.90,95%CI:0.88-0.92) or any other tool (IRR = 0.90,95%CI:0.87-0.93) at evaluation was associated lower KT rate, while only using a validated tool was associated with lower waitlist mortality rate (IRR = 0.89,95%CI:0.83-0.96), especially in older patients (IRR = 0.82,95%CI:0.72-0.93). At admission for KT, always assessing frailty was associated with a lower graft loss rate (IRR = 0.71,95%CI:0.54-0.92) but not with mortality (IRR = 0.93,95%CI:0.76-1.13). CONCLUSIONS:Assessing frailty at evaluation is associated with lower KT rate, while only using a validated frailty assessment tool is associated with better survival, particularly in older candidates. Centers always assessing frailty at admission are likely to have better graft survival rates. Transplant centers may utilize validated frailty assessment tools to secure KT access for appropriate candidates and to better allocate health care resources for patients identified as frail, particularly for older patients.
PMID: 35086480
ISSN: 1471-2318
CID: 5150292

Evolving trends in risk profiles and outcomes in older adults undergoing kidney re-transplantation

Sandal, Shaifali; Ahn, JiYoon B; Cantarovich, Marcelo; Chu, Nadia M; Segev, Dorry L; McAdams-DeMarco, Mara A
BACKGROUND:In older adults (≥65) access to and outcomes following kidney transplantation (KT) have improved over the past three decades. It is unknown if there were parallel trends in re-KT. We characterized the trends, changing landscape, and outcomes of re-KT in older adults. METHODS:Among the 44,149 older kidney-only recipients (1995-2016) in the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, we identified 1,743 who underwent re-KT. We analyzed trends and outcomes (mortality, death-censored graft failure [DCGF]) by eras (1995-2002, 2003-2014 and 2015-2016) that were defined by changes to the ECD and KDPI policies. RESULTS:Among all older kidney-only recipients during 1995-2002, 2003-2014, 2015-2016 the proportion that were re-KTs increased from 2.7%-4.2%-5.7% p<0.001, respectively. Median age at re-KT (67-68-68, p=0.04), years on dialysis after graft failure (1.4-1.5-2.2, p=0.003), donor age (40.0-43.0-43.5, p=0.04), proportion with PRA 80-100 (22.0%-32.7%-48.7%, p<0.001) and donations after circulatory death (1.1%-13.4%-19.5%, p<0.001) have increased. Despite this, the 3-year cumulative incidence for mortality (22.3%-19.1%-11.5%, p=0.002) and DCGF (13.3%-10.0%-5.1%, p=0.01) decreased over time. Compared with deceased donor re-transplant recipients during 1995-2002, those during 2003-2014 and 2015-2016 had lower mortality hazard (aHR=0.78, 95%CI:0.63-0.86 and aHR=0.55, 95%CI:0.35-0.86, respectively). These declines were noted but not significant for DCGF and in living donor re-KTs. CONCLUSIONS:In older re-transplant recipients, outcomes have improved significantly over time despite higher risk profiles; yet they represent a fraction of the KTs performed. Our results support increasing access to re-KT in older adults; however, approaches to guide the selection and management in those with graft failure need to be explored.
PMID: 34115459
ISSN: 1534-6080
CID: 5127282

Revision of frailty assessment in kidney transplant recipients: Replacing unintentional weight loss with CT-assessed sarcopenia in the physical frailty phenotype

Chen, Xiaomeng; Shafaat, Omid; Liu, Yi; King, Elizabeth A; Weiss, Clifford R; Xue, Qian-Li; Walston, Jeremy D; Segev, Dorry L; McAdams-DeMarco, Mara A
Kidney transplantation (KT) experts did not support the use of subjective unintentional weight loss to measure shrinking in the physical frailty phenotype (PFP); a clinically feasible and predictive measure of shrinking is needed. To test whether unintentional weight loss could be replaced by an assessment of sarcopenia using existing CT scans, we performed a prospective cohort study of adult KT recipients with original PFP (oPFP) measured at admission (December 2008-February 2020). We ascertained sarcopenia by calculating skeletal muscle index from available, clinically obtained CTs within 1-year pre-KT (male < 50 cm2 /m2 ; female < 39 cm2 /m2 ) and combined it with the original four components to determine new PFP (nPFP) scores. Frailty was classified by frailty score: 0: non-frail; 1-2: pre-frail; ≥3: frail. Mortality and graft loss hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated using adjusted Cox proportional hazard models. Model discrimination was quantified using Harrell's C-statistic. Among 1113 recipients, 18.6% and 17.1% were frail by oPFP and nPFP, respectively. Compared to non-frail recipients, frail patients by either PFP had higher risks of mortality (oPFP HR = 1.67, 95% CI: 1.07-2.62, C = 0.710; nPFP HR = 1.68, 95% CI: 1.06-2.66, C = 0.710) and graft loss (oPFP HR = 1.67, 95% CI: 1.17-2.40, C = 0.631; nPFP HR = 1.66, 95% CI: 1.15-2.40, C = 0.634) with similar discriminations. oPFP and nPFP are equally useful in risk prediction for KT recipients; oPFP may aid in screening patients for pre-KT interventions, while nPFP may assist in nuanced clinical decision-making.
PMID: 34953170
ISSN: 1600-6143
CID: 5127842

Effect of Early Steroid Withdrawal on Posttransplant Diabetes Among Kidney Transplant Recipients Differs by Recipient Age

Ahn, JiYoon B; Bae, Sunjae; Schnitzler, Mark; Hess, Gregory P; Lentine, Krista L; Segev, Dorry L; McAdams-DeMarco, Mara A
Background/UNASSIGNED:Posttransplant diabetes (PTD), a major complication after kidney transplantation (KT), is often attributable to immunosuppression. The risk of PTD may increase with more potent steroid maintenance and older recipient age. Methods/UNASSIGNED:Using United States Renal Data System data, we studied 12 488 adult first-time KT recipients (2010-2015) with no known pre-KT diabetes. We compared the risk of PTD among recipients who underwent early steroid withdrawal (ESW) versus continued steroid maintenance (CSM) using Cox regression with inverse probability weighting to adjust for confounding. We tested whether the risk of PTD resulting from ESW differed by recipient age (18-29, 30-54, and ≥55 y). Results/UNASSIGNED:). Conclusions/UNASSIGNED:The beneficial association of ESW with decreased PTD was more pronounced among recipients aged ≥55, supporting an age-specific assessment of the risk-benefit balance regarding ESW.
PMID: 34912947
ISSN: 2373-8731
CID: 5127802

Posttransplant Diabetes Mellitus and Immunosuppression Selection in Older and Obese Kidney Recipients

Axelrod, David A; Cheungpasitporn, Wisit; Bunnapradist, Suphamai; Schnitzler, Mark A; Xiao, Huiling; McAdams-DeMarco, Mara; Caliskan, Yasar; Bae, Sunjae; Ahn, JiYoon B; Segev, Dorry L; Lam, Ngan N; Hess, Gregory P; Lentine, Krista L
Rationale & Objective/UNASSIGNED:Posttransplant diabetes mellitus (DM) after kidney transplantation increases morbidity and mortality, particularly in older and obese recipients. We aimed to examine the impact of immunosuppression selection on the risk of posttransplant DM among both older and obese kidney transplant recipients. Study Design/UNASSIGNED:Retrospective database study. Setting & Participants/UNASSIGNED:Kidney-only transplant recipients aged ≥18 years from 2005 to 2016 in the United States from US Renal Data System records, which integrate Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing records with Medicare billing claims. Exposures/UNASSIGNED:Various immunosuppression regimens in the first 3 months after transplant. Outcomes/UNASSIGNED:Development of DM >3 months-to-1 year posttransplant. Analytical Approach/UNASSIGNED:We used multivariable Cox regression to compare the incidence of posttransplant DM by immunosuppression regimen with the reference regimen of thymoglobulin (TMG) or alemtuzumab (ALEM) with tacrolimus + mycophenolic acid + prednisone using inverse propensity weighting. Results/UNASSIGNED:(aHR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.46-0.87). Limitations/UNASSIGNED:Retrospective study and lacked data on immunosuppression levels. Conclusions/UNASSIGNED:The beneficial impact of steroid avoidance using tacrolimus on posttransplant DM appears to differ by patient age and induction regimen.
PMID: 35072042
ISSN: 2590-0595
CID: 5127922

Chronic kidney disease, physical activity, and cognitive function in older adults- results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2011-2014)

Chu, Nadia M; Hong, Jingyao; Harasemiw, Oksana; Chen, Xiaomeng; Fowler, Kevin J; Dasgupta, Indranil; Bohm, Clara; Segev, Dorry L; McAdams-DeMarco, Mara A
BACKGROUND:Cognitive impairment is common among persons with chronic kidney disease (CKD) due in part to reduced kidney function. Given that physical activity (PA) is known to mitigate cognitive decline, we examined whether associations between CKD stage and global/domain-specific cognitive function differs by PA. METHODS:We leveraged 3,223 participants (aged≥60years) enrolled in National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES,2011-2014), with at least one measure of objective cognitive function (immediate recall [CERAD-WL], delayed recall [CERAD-DR], verbal fluency [AF], executive function/processing speed [DSST], global [average of 4 tests]) or self-perceived memory decline [SCD]. We quantified the association between CKD stage (no CKD: eGFR≥60 mL/min/1.73m2 and albuminuria(ACR)<30 mg/g; stage G1-G3: eGFR≥60mL/min/1.73m2 and ACR≥30mg/g or eGFR 30-59mL/min/1.73m2; stage G4-G5: eGFR<30mL/min/1.73m2) and cognitive function using linear regression (objective measures) and logistic regression (SCD), accounting for sampling weights for nationally-representative estimates. We tested whether associations differed by physical activity (Global Physical Activity Questionnaire, high PA≥600MET*min/week vs. low PA<600MET*min/week) using a Wald test. RESULTS:Among NHANES participants, 34.9% had CKD stageG1-G3, 2.6% had stageG4-G5, and 50.7% had low PA. CKD stageG4-G5 was associated with lower global cognitive function (difference = -0.38SD, 95%CI:-0.62,-0.15). This association differed by PA (pinteraction = 0.01). Specifically, among participants with low PA, those with CKD stageG4-G5 had lower global cognitive function (difference = -0.57SD, 95%CI: -0.82,-0.31) compared to those without CKD. Among those with high PA, no difference was found (difference = 0.10SD, 95%CI:-0.29,0.49). Similarly, CKD stage was only associated with immediate recall, verbal fluency, executive function, and processing speed among those with low PA; no associations were observed for delayed recall or self-perceived memory decline. CONCLUSIONS:CKD is associated with lower objective cognitive function among those with low, but not high PA. Clinicians should consider screening older patients with CKD who have low PA for cognitive impairment and encourage them to meet PA guidelines.
PMID: 34850174
ISSN: 1460-2385
CID: 5127762

Age Disparities in Access to First and Repeat Kidney Transplantation

Chen, Yusi; Churilla, Bryce; Ahn, JiYoon B; Quint, Evelien E; Sandal, Shaifali; Musunuru, Amrusha; Pol, Robert A; Hladek, Melissa D; Crews, Deidra C; Segev, Dorry L; McAdams-DeMarco, Mara
BACKGROUND:Evidence suggests that older patients are less frequently placed on the waiting list for kidney transplantation (KT) than their younger counterparts. The trends and magnitude of this age disparity in access to first KT and repeat KT (re-KT) remain unclear. METHODS:Using the US Renal Data System, we identified 2 496 743 adult transplant-naive dialysis patients and 110 338 adult recipients with graft failure between 1995 and 2018. We characterized the secular trends of age disparities and used Cox proportional hazard models to compare the chances of listing and receiving first KT versus re-KT by age (18-64 y versus ≥65 y). RESULTS:Older transplant-naive dialysis patients were less likely to be listed (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 0.18; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.17-0.18) and receive first KT (aHR = 0.88; 95% CI, 0.87-0.89) compared with their younger counterparts. Additionally, older patients with graft failure had a lower chance of being listed (aHR = 0.40; 95% CI, 0.38-0.41) and receiving re-KT (aHR = 0.76; 95% CI, 0.72-0.81). The magnitude of the age disparity in being listed for first KT was greater than that for re-KT ( Pinteraction  < 0.001), and there were no differences in the age disparities in receiving first KT or re-KT ( Pinteraction  = 0.13). Between 1995 and 2018, the age disparity in listing for first KT reduced significantly ( P  < 0.001), but the age disparities in re-KT remained the same ( P  = 0.16). CONCLUSIONS:Age disparities exist in access to both first KT and re-KT; however, some of this disparity is attenuated among older adults with graft failure. As the proportion of older patients with graft failure rises, a better understanding of factors that preclude their candidacy and identification of appropriate older patients are needed.
PMID: 37525348
ISSN: 1534-6080
CID: 5644182

Using Photovoice to Explore the Lived Environment and Experience of Older Adults with Frailty on their Kidney Transplant Journey

Hladek, Melissa deCardi; Wilson, Deborah; Krasnansky, Katie; McDaniel, Kennedy; Shanbhag, Meera; McAdams-DeMarco, Mara; Crews, Deidra C; Brennan, Daniel C; Taylor, Janiece; Segev, Dorry; Walston, Jeremy; Xue, Qian-Li; Szanton, Sarah L
BACKGROUND:Older adults with frailty and kidney failure face higher waitlist mortality and are more likely to be listed as inactive on the kidney transplant (KT) wait list. Photovoice is a qualitative participatory research method where participants use photographs to represent their environment, needs and experiences. It offers unique insight into the lived environment and experience of patients and may offer direction in how to improve functional independence, symptom burden, and kidney transplant outcomes in adults with frailty. METHODS:This photovoice study was embedded within a larger intervention adaptation project. Participants with pre-frailty or frailty awaiting a KT or recently post-transplant took photos with Polaroid cameras and wrote short descriptions for 11 prompts. Each participant completed a semi-structured interview wherein their photos were discussed. The team coded and discussed photos and interviews to determine overarching themes and implications. Focus groups were used to triangulate visual data findings. RESULTS:Sixteen participants completed both the photovoice and interview. Participants were a mean age of 60.5 years, 31.2% female, 43.4% self-identifying as Black, and 69% were frail. Outcomes were categorized into seven themes: functional space, home safety, medication management, adaptive coping, life changing nature of dialysis, support and communication. Visual data clarified and sometimes changed the interpretations of the text alone. Especially within the themes of home safety and functional space, safety hazards not previously recognized in the literature, like dialysis fluid storage, were identified. CONCLUSIONS:Photovoice contextualizes the living conditions and experiences of adults with frailty on the kidney transplant journey and could be a useful tool in geriatric nephrology and transplant. Addressing issues of home storage, organization, and accessibility should be explored as potential intervention targets. Incorporating participant values and goals into care decisions and interventional design should be further explored.
PMID: 38379153
ISSN: 2641-7650
CID: 5634252

Abdominal computed tomography measurements of body composition and waitlist mortality in kidney transplant candidates

Quint, Evelien E; Liu, Yi; Shafaat, Omid; Ghildayal, Nidhi; Crosby, Helen; Kamireddy, Arun; Pol, Robert A; Orandi, Babak J; Segev, Dorry L; Weiss, Clifford R; McAdams-DeMarco, Mara A
Body mass index is often used to determine kidney transplant (KT) candidacy. However, this measure of body composition (BC) has several limitations, including the inability to accurately capture dry weight. Objective computed tomography (CT)-based measures may improve pre-KT risk stratification and capture physiological aging more accurately. We quantified the association between CT-based BC measurements and waitlist mortality in a retrospective study of 828 KT candidates (2010-2022) with clinically obtained CT scans using adjusted competing risk regression. In total, 42.5% of candidates had myopenia, 11.4% had myopenic obesity (MO), 68.8% had myosteatosis, 24.8% had sarcopenia (probable = 11.2%, confirmed = 10.5%, and severe = 3.1%), and 8.6% had sarcopenic obesity. Myopenia, MO, and sarcopenic obesity were not associated with mortality. Patients with myosteatosis (adjusted subhazard ratio [aSHR] = 1.62, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.07-2.45; after confounder adjustment) or sarcopenia (probable: aSHR = 1.78, 95% CI: 1.10-2.88; confirmed: aSHR = 1.68, 95% CI: 1.01-2.82; and severe: aSHR = 2.51, 95% CI: 1.12-5.66; after full adjustment) were at increased risk of mortality. When stratified by age, MO (aSHR = 2.21, 95% CI: 1.28-3.83; P interaction = .005) and myosteatosis (aSHR = 1.95, 95% CI: 1.18-3.21; P interaction = .038) were associated with elevated risk only among candidates <65 years. MO was only associated with waitlist mortality among frail candidates (adjusted hazard ratio = 2.54, 95% CI: 1.28-5.05; P interaction = .021). Transplant centers should consider using BC metrics in addition to body mass index when a CT scan is available to improve pre-KT risk stratification at KT evaluation.
PMID: 37949413
ISSN: 1600-6143
CID: 5620322

Racial Disparities in Waiting List Outcomes of Patients Listed for Lung Transplantation

Florissi, Isabella; Chidi, Alexis P; Liu, Yi; Ruck, Jessica M; Mauney, Carrinton; McAdams-DeMarco, Mara; Merlo, Christian A; Shah, Pali; Stewart, Darren E; Segev, Dorry L; Bush, Errol L
BACKGROUND:The Lung Allocation Score, implemented in 2005, prioritized lung transplant candidates by medical urgency rather than waiting list time and was expected to improve racial disparities in transplant allocation. We evaluated whether racial disparities in lung transplant persisted after 2005. METHODS:We identified all wait-listed adult lung transplant candidates in the United States from 2005 through 2021 using the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. We evaluated the association between race and receipt of a transplant by using a multivariable competing risk regression model adjusted for demographics, socioeconomic status, Lung Allocation Score, clinical measures, and time. We evaluated interactions between race and age, sex, socioeconomic status, and Lung Allocation Score. RESULTS:We identified 33,158 candidates on the lung transplant waiting list between 2005 and 2021: 27,074 White (82%), 3350 African American (10%), and 2734 Hispanic (8%). White candidates were older, had higher education levels, and had lower Lung Allocation Scores (P < .001). After multivariable adjustment, African American and Hispanic candidates were less likely to receive lung transplants than White candidates (African American: adjusted subhazard ratio, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.82-0.91; Hispanic: adjusted subhazard ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.78-0.87). Lung transplant was significantly less common among Hispanic candidates aged >65 years (P = .003) and non-White candidates from higher-poverty communities (African-American: P = .013; Hispanic: P =.0036). CONCLUSIONS:Despite implementation of the Lung Allocation Score, racial disparities persisted for wait-listed African American and Hispanic lung transplant candidates and differed by age and poverty status. Targeted interventions are needed to ensure equitable access to this life-saving intervention.
PMID: 37673311
ISSN: 1552-6259
CID: 5633682