Physicians can better predict outcomes for kidney transplant patients with key data, study finds

January 6, 2017
Kidney transplant patients have a better chance of survival if physicians use all the data that's available to them -- including data that's tracked over time -- to predict the likelihood of organ failure, according to new research from Intermountain Medical Center. Credit: Intermountain Medical Center

Kidney transplant patients have a better chance of survival if physicians use all the data that's available to them—including data that's tracked over time—to predict the likelihood of organ failure, according to new research from Intermountain Medical Center.

Although national databases contain vast amounts of information about kidney transplants, for when a patient's transplant may fail or when a patient may die lack accuracy, since they don't incorporate data that describes how patients fare after transplantation, according to researchers.

The new research, published online in the American Journal of Transplantation on Jan. 4, highlights the need for physicians to use longitudinal data, which is clinical information gathered over time, from national databases and patient records to predict outcomes and provide individualized care to the patients.

"If we can add comprehensive, post-transplant data to our resources of information, we can improve the accuracy of our predictive models and intervene sooner for patients who are at greater risk for kidney failure or death after a transplant," said Titte R. Srinivas, MD, medical director of the kidney and pancreas transplant programs at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City. "With the vast amount of data laying dormant in electronic medical records, the potential for improving outcomes is within our reach."

Previous efforts to predict patient longevity after a kidney transplant were about 60 percent accurate. But according to Dr. Srinivas, easily searchable data like lab values, kidney function results, vital signs, and viruses—and other data such as pathology reports on rejections—can be used to improve the predictive accuracy of models up to 85 percent.

Researchers developed four predictive models by layering available data and examined adult kidney transplant recipients transplanted at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C., between Jan. 2007 and June 2015.

The models are:

  • Model 1: United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) data
  • Model 2: UNOS data and transplant database data
  • Model 3: UNOS data, transplant database data, and electronic comorbidity data
  • Model 4: UNOS data, transplant database data, electronic medical record comorbidity data, post-transplant trajectory data and unstructured data

The layering of data sources improved the accuracy of the predictive by nearly 16 percent (model 1=71.6 percent, model 2=74.1 percent, model 3=76.9 percent, model 4=87.3 percent) when examining the likelihood of losing the transplanted kidney within one year after .

Similar improvements were also noted when predicting loss or death three years after a , ranging from 66.1 percent accuracy using Model 1 to 83.8 percent using Model 4.

"Our next steps are to share these models in meaningful ways with clinicians through the in such a manner that actionable protocols are triggered by risk scores generated by these models of key clinically relevant variables," said Dr. Srinivas. "Using these types of data structures at the bedside has the potential to empower clinicians to improve outcomes through precision of care delivery in transplantation."

Explore further: Age, not post-op infection, more important for kidney transplant success, study finds

Related Stories

What happens when a living kidney donor needs a transplant?

September 5, 2016

Becoming a living kidney donor can be a heroic act, but it has its downsides: increased risks of health complications and occasionally, diseases that may create the need for the donor to have a kidney transplant later in ...

Are promises made to living donors being upheld?

September 1, 2016

A new study finds some shortcomings by the transplant community in providing prompt access to transplantation for living kidney donors who later develop kidney disease and need a transplant. Donors are told that they will ...

Long-term benefits to the liver-kidney transplant

April 15, 2016

A new study from physicians at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, found there may be long-term benefits to simultaneous liver-kidney transplantation versus kidney transplantation alone. The study, "Decreased Chronic Cellular and Antibody-Mediated ...

Recommended for you

Scientists 3-D print human of the future

December 29, 2016

Interactive 3-D models of human joints, showing how common medical complaints have arisen and how we are likely to evolve in the future, have been created at Oxford University.

An eye on young specialists' success

December 5, 2016

Graduates from several medical and surgical specialties are having difficulty securing practice opportunities, especially in specialties dependent upon limited resources, according to new research from Queen's ophthalmologist ...

'Halo' effect common after lasik eye surgery

December 3, 2016

(HealthDay)—Nine out of 10 Lasik laser eye surgery patients report satisfaction afterwards. But a sizable percentage experience new visual disturbances—like seeing halos around lights—up to six months after the procedure, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.