Purpose: There has been controversy about pre-transplant nephrectomy in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. Kidneys may be removed in these patients when they cause respiratory compromise, early satiety, increased abdominal girth, pain, hematuria or recurrent infection. We determined whether concomitant bilateral nephrectomy at renal transplantation is safe and efficacious.
Materials and methods: Between December 1996 and January 1999, 10 patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease underwent bilateral nephrectomy with concomitant renal grafting (group 1). We compared these patients to 9 with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease matched for age and gender who underwent transplantation only (group 2) and 4 with the same condition who underwent bilateral nephrectomy and renal transplantation as staged procedures (group 3).
Results: No patients died perioperatively. There was a lower rate of complications in group 1 than in groups 2 or 3. The only significant differences in intraoperative and perioperative parameters were operative time and intraoperative blood loss, which were greater in group 1 than in group 2. We noted no significant differences in groups 1 and 3. Patient satisfaction analyzed by a survey revealed that the 70% of group 1 patients who responded were satisfied with kidney removal and 7 of the 9 in group 2 desired native kidney removal. All group 3 patients already had a functioning renal graft but were satisfied with native kidney removal, although they would rather have undergone bilateral nephrectomy at transplantation.
Conclusions: Our data imply that there is no higher morbidity or mortality when performing concomitant bilateral nephrectomy at renal transplantation in patients with renal failure due to autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. There was a higher rate of satisfaction in patients who underwent nephrectomy and transplantation simultaneously, while those who did not undergo concomitant procedures strongly desired to have had that option. Bilateral nephrectomy may alleviate symptoms while providing greater room for renal graft placement. When done without transplantation, bilateral nephrectomy resulted in the highest number of complications. Our data indicate that if bilateral nephrectomy is performed as an adjunct to transplantation, it should be done at renal grafting.