Background: Fatigue has been underinvestigated in stable kidney transplant recipients (KTRs). The objectives of this study
were to investigate the nature, severity, prevalence, and clinical awareness of fatigue in medically stable KTRs, examine
the impact of fatigue on quality of life (QoL), and explore the underlying causes of posttransplantation fatigue.
This single-center cross-sectional study enrolled 106 stable KTRs. Multi-dimensional Fatigue Inventory-20 was used to measure
five fatigue dimensions: General Fatigue, Physical Fatigue, Reduced Activity, Reduced Motivation, and Mental Fatigue. Clinical
awareness of fatigue was determined by reviewing medical records. QoL was assessed by Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36
Questionnaire. Demographic, clinical, psychosocial, and behavioral parameters were evaluated as fatigue predictors.
Fatigue was found in 59% of KTRs. Only 13% had this symptom documented in medical records. Fatigue in KTRs was in the same
range as chronically unwell patients, with Physical Fatigue, Reduced Activity, and Reduced Motivation approached levels observed
in chronic fatigue syndrome. All fatigue dimensions significantly and inversely correlated with QoL (P<0.001 for all associations).
Demographic predictors were male, older age, and non-Caucasian ethnicity (P≤0.05 for all associations). Clinical predictors
included elevated highly sensitive C-reactive protein (inflammation), decreased estimated glomerular filtration rate (graft
dysfunction), and reduced lean tissue index (P≤0.05 for all associations). Psychosocial and behavioral predictors were inferior
sleep quality, anxiety, and depression (P<0.01 for all associations).
Conclusions: Fatigue is common and pervasive
in clinically stable KTRs. It is strongly associated with reduced QoL. This study identified modifiable fatigue predictors
and sets the scene for future interventional studies.