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Am J Transplant. 2007 Oct;7(10):2333-43.

The medical evaluation of living kidney donors: a survey of US transplant centers.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, The Transplant Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.


The use of living donors for kidney transplantation in the United States is common, and long-term studies have demonstrated the safety of donation by young, healthy individuals. However, transplant programs have little data to guide them in deciding which donors are unacceptable, and which characteristics are associated with kidney disease or poor psychosocial outcomes after donation. To document current practices in evaluating potential donors, we surveyed all US kidney transplant programs. Compared to a survey 12 years ago, medical criteria for donation are more inclusive in several areas. All responding programs now accept living unrelated donors. Most programs no longer have an upper age limit to be eligible. Programs are now more likely to accept donors with treated hypertension, or a history of kidney stones, provided that certain additional criteria are met. In contrast, medical criteria for donation are more restrictive in other areas, such as younger donor age and low creatinine clearance. Overall, significant variability remains among transplant programs in the criteria used to evaluate donors. These findings highlight the need for more data on long-term outcomes in various types of donors with potential morbidities related to donation.

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