Background: Our aim was to use the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) database to determine the number of renal waitlist candidates who previously had been living donors.
Methods: All living renal donors in the OPTN database were cross-checked against the renal waitlist history files. Additionally, renal transplant programs were contacted that had listed candidates as qualified for four additional allocation points available to patients who previously had donated an organ. Confirmatory phone calls to transplant programs yielded additional cases previously unreported to the United Network for Organ Sharing.
Results: A total of 56 previous living donors were identified as having been subsequently listed for cadaveric kidney transplantation. Forty-three have received transplants; 36 currently have functioning grafts. One died after transplantation. Two candidates died while waiting.
Conclusions: Living renal donation has long-term risks that may not be apparent in the short term. The numbers here reported underestimate the actual number of living donors with renal failure, because they include only patients listed for a kidney transplant. To determine risk factors for postdonation renal failure, long-term living-donor follow-up data are needed.