Intraoperative fluid management and kidney transplantation outcomes: A retrospective cohort study

Monica W. Harbell, Molly B. Kraus, Skye A. Bucker-Petty, Jack W. Harbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Patients undergoing kidney transplantation traditionally receive liberal amounts of fluid during surgery. However, excessive fluids can lead to fluid overload and ileus. In this retrospective cohort study, we compared the effect of restrictive versus liberal fluid therapy on kidney transplantation outcomes. Methods: Patients who underwent deceased-donor kidney transplantation at Mayo Clinic from January 2014 to March 2019 were included. Those who received <3 L of intravenous fluids intraoperatively were categorized as “restrictive;” those who received ≥3 L were categorized as “liberal.” The primary outcome was incidence of delayed graft function (DGF). Secondary outcomes included length of stay, readmission within 30 days, time to return of bowel function, and incidence of postoperative complications. Results: Of the 1171 patients included, 557 were in the restrictive group and 614 in the liberal group. The mean (SD) fluid intake was 2.17 (.54) L in the restrictive group and 3.67 (.68) L in the liberal group (P<.001). There was no difference in DGF (relative risk, 1.03; P =.56), length of stay (P =.34), readmission (P =.80), return of bowel function (P =.71), or other postoperative complications. Conclusions: Intraoperative restrictive fluid therapy during kidney transplantation was not associated with DGF or worse outcomes when compared with liberal fluid therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14489
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • clinical decision-making
  • delayed graft dysfunction
  • fluid therapy
  • hospital discharge
  • hospital readmission
  • kidney (allograft) function/dysfunction
  • postoperative complications
  • quality of care/care delivery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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