The collection of lymphatic fluids (lymphoceles) is a frequent adverse event following renal transplantation. A variety of surgical and medical factors has been linked to this entity, but reliable data on risk factors and long-term outcomes are lacking. This retrospective single-center study included 867 adult transplant recipients who received a kidney transplantation from 2006 to 2015. We evaluated for patient and graft survival, rejection episodes, or detectable donor-specific antibodies (dnDSA) in patients with identified lymphoceles in comparison to controls. We identified 305/867 (35.2%) patients with lymphocele formation, of whom 72/867 (8.3%) needed intervention. Multivariate analysis identified rejection episode as an independent risk factor (OR 1.61, CI 95% 1.17-2.21, = 0.003) for lymphocele formation, while delayed graft function was independently associated with symptomatic lymphoceles (OR 1.9, CI 95% 1.16-3.12, = 0.011). Interestingly, there was no difference in detectable dnDSA between groups with a similar graft and patient survival in all groups after 10 years. Lymphoceles frequently occur after transplantation and were found to be independently associated with rejection episodes, while symptomatic lymphoceles were associated with delayed graft function in our cohort. As both are inflammatory processes, they might play a causative role in the formation of lymphoceles. However, development or intervention of lymphoceles did not lead to impaired graft survival in the long-term.
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Lukas J Lehner