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Transplantation. 1995 Aug 27;60(4):322-7.

Evaluation of living renal donors. The current practice of US transplant centers.

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Department of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.


To examine practice patterns regarding how living donors are evaluated and selected in the U.S., a survey was sent to all 231 United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS)-approved transplant centers. Respondents from 75% of centers completed the questionnaire, all of whom utilize living donors for renal transplantation. Although the use of living-unrelated donors is also widely accepted (in 92% of centers), only 31% of responding centers performed such transplants in 1992, indicating a discrepancy between acceptance and actual practice. Morbidity (0.23%) and mortality (0.03%) of kidney donation continue to be low. The long-term risk of renal insufficiency in kidney donors appears to be similar to, or lower than, that in the general population. There is substantial variability in how potential donors are evaluated and what they are told regarding the risk involved in renal donation. There is also variability in exclusion criteria such as the acceptance of older donors (> 55 years old); those with borderline-to-mild hypertension, and those with borderline low glomerular filtration rate. Larger centers tended to be less rigid in their exclusion criteria compared with smaller centers. While our results indicate widespread acceptance and use of living donors, they also highlight the need for future studies to examine the efficacy of tests used in the evaluation process and to determine the long-term risks of renal donation.

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