Early Graft Function in Deceased Donor Renal Recipients: Role of N-Acetylcysteine

Document Type : Research article


1 Research Center for Rational Use of Drugs, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Chronic Kidney Disease Research Center, Shahid Labbafinejad Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.Loghman Hakim Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Reduced graft function (RGF) in donor renal transplant recipients is caused by oxidative damage due to extensive ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury during transplantation. Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) is a promising biomarker to detect tubular injury early after renal transplantation. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a potent antioxidant that can reduce I/R injury by improving oxidative damage. The aim of the present study is to assess the efficacy of NAC in improving graft function and reducing renal tubular injury in deceased donor renal transplant recipients. A double-blind, randomized clinical trial was conducted on 50 deceased donor renal transplant recipients. Patients were randomized into two groups, receiving either 600 mg NAC twice daily, or placebo (days 0 to 5). Results were assessed based on the rate of RGF, levels of plasma NGAL (p-NGAL) and the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). The rate of RGF was significantly lower in patients receiving NAC vs. placebo (21.4% vs. 50%). The measurement of p-NGAL levels showed that patients in the NAC group had significantly greater reduction of p-NGAL by both days 1 and 5 post-transplantation than those in the placebo group. A near steady-state eGFR level was reached by week 1 in the NAC group, however, the improvement of eGFR was significantly slower in the placebo group and a near steady-state was only achieved by week 4. NAC has promising potential in reducing tubular injury and improving graft function, evidenced by significant reduction in the rate of RGF and levels of p-NGAL.

Graphical Abstract

Early Graft Function in Deceased Donor Renal Recipients: Role of N-Acetylcysteine


Main Subjects

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