Background. Cognitive impairment is common in patients with end-stage renal disease and is associated with poor outcomes on dialysis. We hypothesized that cognitive impairment might be associated with an increased risk of all-cause graft loss (ACGL) in kidney transplant (KT) recipients. Methods. Using the Modified Mini-Mental State (3MS) examination, we measured global cognitive function at KT hospital admission in a prospective, 2-center cohort of 864 KT candidates (August 2009 to July 2016). We estimated the association between pre-KT cognitive impairment and ACGL using Cox regression, adjusting for recipient, donor, and transplant factors. Results. In living donor KT (LDKT) recipients, the prevalence was 3.3% for mild impairment (60 ≤ 3MS < 80) and 3.3% for severe impairment (3MS < 60). In deceased donor KT (DDKT) recipients, the prevalence was 9.8% for mild impairment and 2.6% for severe impairment. The LDKT recipients with cognitive impairment had substantially higher ACGL risk than unimpaired recipients (5-year ACGL: 45.5% vs 10.6%; P < 0.01; adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] any impairment, 5.40 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.78-16.34; P < 0.01); aHR severe impairment, 5.57 (95% CI, 1.29-24.00; P = 0.02). Similarly, DDKT recipients with severe impairment had higher ACGL risk than recipients without severe impairment (5-year ACGL, 53.0% vs 24.2%; P = 0.04); aHR severe impairment, 2.92 (95% CI, 1.13-7.50; P = 0.03). Conclusions. Given the elevated risk of ACGL among KT recipients with cognitive impairment observed in this 2-center cohort, research efforts should explore the mechanisms of graft loss and mortality associated with cognitive impairment and identify potential interventions to improve posttransplant survival.
ASJC Scopus subject areas