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9th March 2023

World-first research exploring post-operative care after kidney transplant

dr karthik venkataraman vertical crop

Chronic kidney disease can affect 1 in 10 Australian adults while around 15,000 Australians rely on renal dialysis to survive.  

A kidney transplant offers eligible patients a better quality of life and longevity, but it is a major operation that can place stress on the patient’s body and instability in blood pressure.  

Thanks to your donations, Dr Karthik Venkataraman was awarded the Inaugural Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Scholarship from Kidney, Transplant and Diabetes Research Australia (KTDRA) to investigate how to best manage a patient 24 hours after a kidney transplant. 

Currently, there are no national or international studies that assess how to best manage patients post-operatively. 

“What we don’t know is if more intensive support of patients in the first 24 hours will lead to better post operative kidney function, and whether that potential improvement in post operative kidney function will lead to long term improvements in kidney function,’’ Dr Venkataraman said.

“There is a lack of evidence-based guidelines around how to manage kidney transplant around the time of their operation.  

“This means that each transplanting unit manages patients in different ways. This leads to the heterogeneity across transplanting units.’’ 

Dr Venkataraman’s study is titled: Post-operative haemodynamic management after kidney transplant to improve early graft function. 

It involves finding answers to the following: 

  • Does management in a high acuity setting improve blood pressure in kidney transplants? 
  • Does the improvement in blood pressure improve post operative kidney transplant function? 
  • Does post operative kidney transplant function predict how long the kidney transplant last for? 
  • And does this change depending on what type of kidney donor (deceased donor vs living donor)? 

The study is expected to be completed by March 2024.  

We look forward to reporting the results in a future issue.