• We compared early (<70 days) cumulative survival, cause of death, and morbidity (defined as the number of organ system failures and reoperations) of 236 patients who needed dialysis for acute tubular necrosis (ATN) after transplantation with that of a control group of 215 transplant patients who had immediate renal function after transplantation. The patients were matched for age, number of transplants, time of transplantation, diabetic status, living-related vs cadaveric donor, and number of HLA matches. There were no differences in cumulative survival after transplantation, causes of death, organ system failure, or surgical complications as evident from the number of reoperations. The ATN patients' overall clinical course was similar to that described for other postsurgical patients with ATN in their native kidneys. We conclude that the poor survival and the surgical complications in patients with postoperative ATN are due to the basic disease and not to acute renal failure or to dialysis. To improve survival, research should be focused on the basic disease and the surgical procedures rather than on dialysis technique.
(Arch Surg 1985;120:907-910)