Donation after cardiac death: the university of wisconsin experience with renal transplantation

Am J Transplant. 2004 Sep;4(9):1490-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2004.00531.x.


Owing to the shortage of organ donors, there is renewed interest in donation after cardiac death (DCD), formerly referred to as nonheart-beating donation. From January 1984 until August 2000, 382 renal transplants were performed from DCD donors. These were compared with 1089 renal transplants performed from donation after brain death (DBD) donors. The mean warm ischemic time in DCD donors was 16.5 min. There was no statistical difference in cold ischemic time, rate of primary nonfunction, or graft loss in the first 30 days after transplantation. The rate of delayed graft function (DGF) was higher for DCD donors (27.5% vs. 21.3%; p = 0.016) and discharge creatinine was higher in DCD donors (1.92 mg/dL vs. 1.71 mg/dL; p = 0.001). There was no statistical difference in the 5-, 10-, or 15-year allograft survival when DCD donors were compared with DBD donors (64.8%, 44.8%, 27.8% vs. 71.3%, 48.3%, 33.8%; p = 0.054). Likewise, no statistical difference in the rate of technical complications was seen. Our long-term data indicate that the results of renal transplantation from DCD donors are equivalent to long-term allograft survival from DBD donors despite an increase in the rate of DGF. Organ procurement organizations, transplant centers, and hospitals should work to expand the implementation of DCD policies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Death
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac*
  • Graft Survival / physiology
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation / immunology
  • Kidney Transplantation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Kidney*
  • Nephrectomy / methods
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survivors
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Donors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tissue Preservation / methods
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting / methods
  • Wisconsin