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Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2011 Nov;18(6):433-8. doi: 10.1053/j.ackd.2011.10.004.

Transplantation and the primary care physician.

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Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, West Penn Allegheny Health System, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA 15212-4772, USA.


Increasing appreciation of the survival benefits of kidney transplantation, compared with chronic dialysis, has resulted in more patients with kidney disease being referred and receiving organs. The evolving disparity between a rapidly increasing pool of candidates and a smaller pool of available donors has created new issues for the physicians who care for kidney patients and their potential living donors. This article outlines current efforts to address the growing number of patients who await transplantation, including relaxation of traditional donation criteria, maximization of living donation, and donation schemas that permit incompatible donor-recipient pairs to participate through paired donation and transplantation chains. New ethical issues faced by donors and recipients are discussed. Surgical advances that reduce the morbidity of donors are also described, as is the role of the primary physician in medical issues of both donors and recipients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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