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Open Access Research article

Association of pre-transplant statin use with delayed graft function in kidney transplant recipients

Janske Reiling12, David W Johnson13*, Peter S Kruger34, Peter Pillans35 and Daryl R Wall13

Author Affiliations

1 Queensland Renal Transplant Service, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Australia

2 Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands

3 University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

4 Intensive Care Unit, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Australia

5 Pharmacology Department, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Australia

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BMC Nephrology 2012, 13:111  doi:10.1186/1471-2369-13-111

Published: 17 September 2012



Administration of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), prior to ischemia or prior to reperfusion has been shown to decrease ischemia-reperfusion renal injury in animal studies. It is unknown whether this protective effect is applicable to renal transplantation in humans. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between prior statin use in renal transplant recipients and the subsequent risk of delayed graft function.


All patients who underwent deceased or living donor renal transplantation at the Princess Alexandra Hospital between 1 July 2008 and 1 August 2010 were included in this retrospective, observational cohort study. Graft function was classified as immediate graft function (IGF), dialysis-requiring (D-DGF) and non-dialysis-requiring (ND-DGF) delayed graft function. The independent predictors of graft function were evaluated by multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for donor characteristics, recipient characteristics, HLA mismatch and ischaemic times.


Overall, of the 266 renal transplant recipients, 21% exhibited D-DGF, 39% had ND-DGF and 40% had IGF. Statin use prior to renal transplantation was not significantly associated with the risk of D-DGF (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.05, 95% CI 0.96 – 1.15, P = 0.28). This finding was not altered when D-DGF and ND-DGF were pooled together (OR 0.98; 95% CI 0.89-1.06, p = 0.56).


The present study did not show a significant, independent association between prior statin use in kidney transplant recipients and the occurrence of delayed graft function.