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Kidney Week

Abstract: FR-PO1191

Center-Level Variation in the Association of Clinical Factors with Use of an Early Steroid Withdrawal Regimen in Kidney Transplant Recipients

Session Information

Category: Transplantation

  • 1902 Transplantation: Clinical


  • Bae, Sunjae, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • McAdams-DeMarco, Mara, Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Garonzik wang, Jacqueline, Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Massie, Allan, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Coresh, Josef, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology & Clinical Research, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Segev, Dorry L., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Early steroid withdrawal (ESW) may confer net benefit to low-risk kidney transplant (KT) recipients. However, there is limited evidence on what clinical factors constitute the “low-risk” status that favors ESW, possibly resulting in heterogeneous, and even contradicting, practices across KT centers. Quantifying this heterogeneity using real-world data is also crucial for making unbiased inferences on ESW. We aimed to characterize the center-level variation in how clinical factors influence the selection of ESW.


Using SRTR data, we studied 210,133 KT recipients in 2002-2017, after excluding who did not receive tacrolimus and mycophenolate for maintenance immunosuppression (n=47,756). ESW was defined as withdrawal of steroid by the time of discharge from KT admission. We quantified the center-level variation in the associations of 74 variables with ESW, via the standard deviation (SD) of the random slope terms in multilevel logistic models.


We identified 10 variables with greater variation (Figure). Factors such as recipient hypertension and pulsatile perfusion were associated with ESW in opposing directions at different centers. For example, the center-specific odds ratio (OR) of ESW for recipient hypertension was <0.8 at 110 (39.6%) centers, but >1.25 at 63 (22.7%) centers. On the other hand, factors such as increased PRA and longer cold ischemic time were associated with lower odds of ESW at most centers, but to substantially varying degrees. For example, while high PRA (80-100 vs 0-9) was associated with lower odds of ESW in the entire population (OR=0.440.500.58), this association was particularly stronger at some centers [eg, OR<0.2 at 29 (10.4%) centers].


Our findings suggest a substantial discordance among KT centers on what clinical factors indicate ESW and how important each factor is.

Distribution of center-specific odds ratios of early steroid withdrawal


  • NIDDK Support