Histidine-tryptophan-ketoglutarate (HTK) is associated with reduced graft survival of deceased donor kidney transplants

Z. A. Stewart, Bonnie Lonze, D. S. Warren, Nabil N Dagher, A. L. Singer, Robert Avery Montgomery, D. L. Segev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Single-center studies have reported equivalent outcomes of kidney allografts recovered with histidine-tryptophan-ketoglutarate (HTK) or University of Wisconsin (UW) solution. However, these studies were likely underpowered and often unadjusted, and multicenter studies have suggested HTK preservation might increase delayed graft function (DGF) and reduce graft survival of renal allografts. To further inform clinical practice, we analyzed the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database of deceased donor kidney transplants performed from July 2004 to February 2008 to determine if HTK (n = 5728) versus UW (n = 15 898) preservation impacted DGF or death-censored graft survival. On adjusted analyses, HTK preservation had no effect on DGF (odds ratio [OR] 0.99, p = 0.7) but was associated with an increased risk of death-censored graft loss (hazard ratio [HR] 1.20, p = 0.008). The detrimental effect of HTK was a relatively late one, with a strong association between HTK and subsequent graft loss in those surviving beyond 12 months (HR 1.43, p = 0.007). Interestingly, a much stronger effect was seen in African-American recipients (HR 1.55, p = 0.024) than in Caucasian recipients (HR 1.18, p = 0.5). Given recent studies that also demonstrate that HTK preservation reduces liver and pancreas allograft survival, we suggest that the use of HTK for abdominal organ recovery should be reconsidered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1048-1054
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009


  • HTK solution
  • Kidney preservation
  • Kidney transplantation
  • UW preservation solution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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