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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the incidence and characteristics of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in kidney transplantation recipients and analyze whether the anatomical side of DVT was associated with the side of the transplanted organ.

METHODS: A single-center retrospective medical record review of patients who received a kidney transplant between January 2004 and July 2019 and who subsequently developed DVT. Only patients who received unilateral kidney transplants were included in the study. Patients who underwent concomitant pancreatic transplants, bilateral kidney transplants, or repeat procedures were excluded.

RESULTS: Of the 2449 kidney transplants performed during the study period, 1482 were included in the analysis (948 men [64%]; mean age 61 years). Of 606 duplex ultrasound tests, 115 results confirmed the presence of DVT. The incidence of symptomatic DVT was 4.7%. The most common time of DVT diagnosis was within four weeks after transplantation. Type 2 diabetes, heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, sepsis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/abnormal pulmonary function, and being confined to bed were associated with DVT after kidney transplant (all P < 0.05). Patients with ultrasound-confirmed DVT had higher mean Caprini scores than patients with negative duplex ultrasounds (P < 0.5). Approximately 53% of transplant patients with ultrasound-confirmed DVT had a 1:1 correlation of transplant side to the side of DVT. Cohen kappa statistic 0.03 indicated no correlation between the side of DVT and the side of transplant.

CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of DVT after kidney transplant was lower than the incidence reported in the literature. Being confined to a bed may be a risk factor for DVT after transplant surgery. Kidney transplant recipients who had a positive duplex ultrasound had higher Caprini risk assessment scores than transplant recipients who had negative duplex ultrasounds. There was no correlation between the side of the DVT and the side of the transplant.

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