BACKGROUND: The use of grafts with multiple renal arteries (MRA) in renal transplantation has not been clearly established.
MATERIAL/METHODS: A systematic literature review used predefined terms to search PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library for all studies since 1985 that included more than 50 MRA grafts. A total of 23 studies, comprising a total of 18,289 patients, were eligible to be included in the meta-analysis.
RESULTS: Patients who received an MRA graft compared to single renal artery (SRA) grafts showed significantly higher complication rates (13.8% vs. 11.0%, OR 1.393, p<0.0001), more delayed graft function (10.3% vs. 8.2%, OR 1.333, p=0.022), and had an associated significantly lower 1-year graft survival (93.2% vs. 94.5%, OR 0.819, p=0.034). Both the creatinine level and the warm ischemia time (WIT) were significantly higher in patients with MRA grafts but showed high heterogeneity (I² 98% for WIT and I² 70% for creatinine level). Although MRA grafts were associated with more complications compared to SRA grafts, long-term outcomes were similar for 5-year graft survival (81.4% vs. 81.6%) and 1- and 5-year patient survival (95.4% and 89.6% in MRA group vs. 95.4% and 87.0% in SRA group, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: MRA grafts were associated with a higher risk of complication and delayed graft function but had comparable long-term outcomes for graft and patient survival.