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Cost analysis of kidney transplantation in highly sensitized recipients compared to intermittent maintenance hemodialysis

Ahmed Al-Jedai, Mohammed Alsultan, Khalid Almeshari, Khalid Alshaibani, Hazem Elgamal, Delal Alkortas, Fowad Khurshid, Mai Altalhi, Khaled Hamawi

Ann Transplant 2012; 17(4): 82-91

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.883698


Background:    Kidney transplantation in allosensitized recipients has recently increased. Studies performing cost analysis of desensitization protocols are scarce.
    Material/Methods:    We performed an actual cost comparison between kidney transplantation following desensitization and maintenance hemodialysis. Group A (n=35) consisted of allosensitized recipients who underwent desensitization using immunoadsorption and/or plasmapheresis, intravenous immunoglobulin and anti-CD20 antibody who were followed for ≥ 2 years. Group B (n=49) consisted of matched patients who remained on hemodialysis throughout the study period. Actual costs of donor care, surgical procedures, out-patient visits, in-hospital admissions, medications, hemodialysis, immunoadsorption, plasmapheresis, and laboratory and radiology investigations were calculated. Health care services were provided by a single institution.
    Results:    Mortality rate was similar between both groups. The average 4-year actual total cost was $210,779 in group A and $317,186.3 in group B; respectively (p=0.017). Average total cost per patient in group A was $186,608; $14,233; $5,536; $4,402 in the first, second, third and fourth years after transplantation respectively while the average total annual cost per patient in group B was $79,296. The total cost in both groups became equal by month 31. The predicted annual cost savings in group A after 31 months was $33,943.
    Conclusions:    Despite using costly desensitization protocols, kidney transplantation in sensitized patients provides long-term cost savings compared to maintenance hemodialysis.

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