Author(s): Vollmer WM, Wahl PW, Blagg CR
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Abstract We examined the survival experience of 1038 white patients with end-stage renal disease to compare transplantation with maintenance dialysis. A mathematical model was used that permitted adjustment for the confounding effects of age and morbidity at the start of treatment as well as for the year in which treatment began. For patients with all kinds of renal disease, survival was related to age and morbidity but not to the year of starting treatment. Transplantation with a graft from a living related donor was associated with significantly better survival than either transplantation with a cadaveric graft (relative risk, 0.54) or dialysis (relative risk, 0.55). No significant difference in survival was found between treatment by dialysis and by cadaveric transplantation (relative risk, 1.01). In view of this experience, the decision about whether a patient on dialysis should receive a cadaveric transplant should be based on evaluation of the differences in complications associated with the two treatments and the potential effects of these on the patient's general life style, opportunity for rehabilitation, and family and social responsibilities. Whether the use of cyclosporine will change this assessment in the future remains to be seen.
This article was published in N Engl J Med
and referenced in Dentistry