Atherosclerosis 2010 Jun 11;210(2):637-42. Epub 2010 Jan 11.
Marienhospital Herne, Medizinische Klinik I, Klinikum der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Hölkeskampring 40, 44625 Herne, Germany.
Objectives: Markers of non-specific inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) or leukocyte count are increased in end-stage renal disease patients. Recent studies have shown positive associations between inflammatory markers and cardiovascular mortality in kidney transplant recipients, but these analyses had been limited by sample size. The aim of our study was to determine the association between pretransplant CRP levels and leukocyte counts with posttransplant outcome in a prospectively enrolled cohort of kidney transplant recipients.
Methods: 459 consecutive patients transplanted from July 1995 to December 2007 were analyzed. Both markers were obtained prior to transplantation and patients were grouped according to baseline CRP levels (<5mg/l or >or=5mg/l) or leukocyte counts (<10,000/microl or >or=10,000/microl).
Results: Major cardiac events were associated with elevated pretransplant CRP levels (p<0.00003) but not leukocyte counts. Furthermore, more acute rejection episodes within 4 weeks or 6 months, as well as a lower probability of survival at 6 months were found in patients with elevated pretransplant CRP levels or leukocyte counts.
Conclusion: Elevated pretransplant serum CRP level is a risk predictor for major cardiac events in renal transplant patients. It is also predictive, besides leukocyte counts, for acute rejection episodes. Elevated CRP levels and initial high leukocyte counts may prove to be useful markers for posttransplant course and warrant the close follow-up of such patients.