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Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2010 Mar;19(2):129-33. doi: 10.1097/MNH.0b013e328335f9f4.

Long-term outcomes of kidney donors.

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  • 1Chronic Disease Research Group, Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA.



Partial renal ablation in laboratory animals leads initially to compensatory glomerular hyperfiltration and progressive, sclerotic kidney disease. In addition, modest declines in kidney function are associated with premature mortality in epidemiological studies. Hence, the long-term safety of living-kidney donation is an important issue. The purpose of this review was to examine existing research on outcomes among living-kidney transplant donors, with a focus on longer term outcomes.


Although studies with sibling controls are unavailable, the current evidence base suggests that kidney donors have mortality and end-stage renal disease risks that are equivalent to similar individuals in the general population. Although findings for albuminuria and hypertension vary between studies, risks may be acceptable if donors receive optimal follow-up and care. Parenthetically, viewed as an experimental model of kidney-function loss, the neutrality of outcomes among donors may have major implications for the population at large: the robust associations between modest declines in kidney function and mortality seen in the general population suggest a confounded relationship and finding these confounders could have major implications for future research directions and for public health.


Long-term outcomes suggest that kidney donation is not a major threat to longevity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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