Objectives: Delayed graft function affects up to 50% of kidney transplant recipients. Some guidelines recommend surveillance biopsies beginning 7 days after engraftment. This may be unnecessary with anti-thymocyte globulin induction. Materials and Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of deceased-donor renal transplant recipients with delayed graft function. Results: One hundred eleven patients met the inclusion criteria. The incidence of rejections during delayed graft function was 2.7%. They were diagnosed between 9 and 11 days after transplant. The subsequent incidence of rejection at 12-month follow-up was 13.5% (n=15). The median time to rejection after transplant was 10 weeks. Fourteen of 15 patients had subtherapeutic immunosuppression. The only risk factor associated with later rejection after delayed graft function was use of donors after cardiac death. Conclusions: Early rejection during delayed graft function with anti-thymocyte globulin induction and maintenance immunosuppression with tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, and steroids is rare. When later rejection occurs, it is at a median of 10 weeks after a transplant. Two of the 3 early rejections were antibody mediated. Later rejections were associated with subtherapeutic immunosuppression and donors after cardiac death. Biopsies need not be performed during the early postoperative period when anti-thymocyte globulin is used with tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, and steroids.
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