Mannitol and furosemide have been used as diuretics intraoperatively to facilitate early renal allograft function and reduce delayed graft function. As the evidence of any efficacy of these agents is limited, we sought to characterize the use of diuretics among transplant surgeons.
An anonymous online survey was sent to all Canadian transplant programs where kidney transplants are routinely performed. Questions were related to the use and indications for mannitol and furosemide. Responses were collected and analyzed as counts and percentages of respondents. We used χ2 analysis to assess the relationship between demographic factors and survey responses.
Thirty-five surgeons completed the survey (response rate 50%). Seventy per cent of respondents reported performing 26 or more transplants per year, 88% had formal transplant fellowship training and 67% indicated that they currently train fellows. Only 24% and 12% reported believing that delayed graft function is reduced by mannitol and furosemide use, respectively. However, 73% routinely gave mannitol to patients and 53% routinely gave furosemide. The most common justification given for mannitol use was to induce diuresis (54%); 37% of respondents reported using mannitol because of training dogma. Likewise, 57% used furosemide for diuresis, with 23% reporting that their use of this agent was based on dogma. No relationship emerged between fellowship training, case volume or training program status and the use of any agent. Interestingly, 71% of respondents indicated that a randomized controlled trial evaluating the utility of intraoperative diuretics is needed and that they were interested in participating in such a trial.
Use of intraoperative diuretics and the rationale for their use vary among surgeons. A substantial proportion of surgeons use these medications on the basis of dogma alone. A randomized controlled trial is needed to clarify the role of intraoperative diuretics in kidney transplant surgery.