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Clin Transplant. 2008 Nov-Dec;22(6):794-802. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0012.2008.00881.x. Epub 2008 Aug 18.

The evolving notion of "senior" kidney transplant recipients.

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National Institute of Transplantation, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


The maximum age of recipients expected to benefit with a kidney transplant has increased in the past three decades. In 1980, patients older than age 50 were not listed for a transplant. In 2004, almost 90% aged 50-60 yr with end-stage renal disease were listed, and some were even older than age 80. We summarize previous articles to illustrate how the notion of "senior" has evolved for kidney transplantation, and using data reported to the Organ Procurement Transplant Network, describe characteristics, treatments and outcomes in recipients older than 50 yr. Fractions of male, white, non-obese, unsensitized recipients and use of expanded criteria donors increased in cohorts with increasing recipient age. The percentage of recipients with hypertension or diabetes decreased, but the percentage with cancer increased. The fraction spared steroids increased with increasing age, but other aspects of immunosuppression were not remarkably different. No differences in early outcomes were notable, and elderly recipients likely did not return to dialysis. However, both graft and patient survival rates decreased with increasing age. Although a small fraction was selected, and survival rates were lower, patients older than 80 yr received kidney transplants.

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