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Transplantation. 1998 Jul 15;66(1):49-52.

Unrelated living donors in 141 kidney transplantations: a one-center study.

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Department of Surgery B, The National Hospital, University of Oslo, Norway.



Kidney transplantation is the optimal treatment for the majority of patients with end-stage renal disease. However, the shortage of kidneys for transplantation is a global problem, and any attempt to improve the donor situation would be of benefit to the growing number of patients on transplant waiting lists.


Since 1984, we have transplanted 141 kidneys from genetically unrelated living donors. Donors were most often spouses and were accepted regardless of HLA match grade. Preemptive transplantation was performed in 39% of the patients. Standard triple-drug immunosuppression with prednisolone, cyclosporine, and azathioprine was used. The patients were followed from 6 months to 13 years.


The incidence of acute rejection during the first 3 months after transplantation was higher in recipients of grafts from unrelated donors than in recipients of grafts from related living donors or cadaveric donors. However, unrelated living donor grafts survived significantly better than did cadaveric grafts (P < 0.02) and had a survival rate similar to that of living-related donor grafts mismatched for one or both HLA haplotypes. The perioperative complication rate for the donor was low.


We consider unrelated living donors an excellent source for alleviating the shortage of donor kidneys.

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