Trial results to revolutionise kidney transplants

11 Jul 2023
Trial results to revolutionise kidney transplants

The Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant (ANZDATA) Registry at SAHMRI is celebrating a significant milestone following the recently published results of a major clinical trial with the potential to revolutionise kidney transplantation worldwide.

Led by Dr Michael Collins, Senior Consultant Nephrologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) in collaboration with ANZDATA and the Australasian Kidney Trials Network, the BEST Fluids trial, was conducted across 16 hospitals in Australia and New Zealand, involving 808 patients with kidney failure who received a kidney transplant from a deceased donor.

Recently published in The Lancet, the trial results showed that using “balanced” fluids instead of saline as the IV fluid after kidney transplantation can dramatically reduce the occurrence of delayed graft function in kidney transplant patients by 25%.

“Delayed graft function is a condition affecting approximately one in three kidneys from deceased donors, in which transplanted kidneys do not immediately function as they should,” Dr Collins said.

“This complication often necessitates dialysis, prolongs hospital stays and increases patient stress and anxiety, adding to the risk of long-term damage to the transplanted kidney.”

Finding an effective method of limiting the likelihood of this problem occurring is a momentous development in improving patient outcomes.

This simple change in practice has the potential to benefit hundreds of thousands of patients undergoing kidney transplant operations worldwide each year.

The ANZDATA team was instrumental in helping to facilitate the study, with clinicians, biostatisticians and clinical trialists all involved in gathering and analysing the data.

Deputy Executive Officer, Dr Phil Clayton, says it’s one of the registry’s most notable achievements to date.

"It’s very exciting that the results of this study will lead to tangible benefits for patients moving forward,” Dr Clayton said.

“The possibility of delayed graft function adds another layer of distress for kidney transplant patients who are already facing extremely challenging circumstances. The fact we can now significantly reduce that threat is remarkable.”

Professor Stephen McDonald, Executive Officer of the ANZDATA Registry, says it’s a great example of what can be achieved through a ‘Registry based’ trial.

“Registry based trials combine the robustness of the nationwide data collection from clinical quality Registries such as ANZDATA with the advantages of randomised trials. They particularly excel at answering pragmatic clinical questions directly relevant to patient care,” Dr Clayton said.

The study was funded by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, with trial fluids provided by Baxter Healthcare.

An article was also published in The Advertiser.

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