Donor kidney exchanges

Am J Transplant. 2004 Oct;4(10):1628-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2004.00572.x.


Kidney transplantation from live donors achieves an excellent outcome regardless of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) mismatch. This development has expanded the opportunity of kidney transplantation from unrelated live donors. Nevertheless, the hazard of hyperacute rejection has usually precluded the transplantation of a kidney from a live donor to a potential recipient who is incompatible by ABO blood type or HLA antibody crossmatch reactivity. Region 1 of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) has devised an alternative system of kidney transplantation that would enable either a simultaneous exchange between live donors (a paired exchange), or a live donor/deceased donor exchange to incompatible recipients who are waiting on the list (a live donor/list exchange). This Regional system of exchange has derived the benefit of live donation, avoided the risk of ABO or crossmatch incompatibility, and yielded an additional donor source for patients awaiting a deceased donor kidney. Despite the initial disadvantage to the list of patients awaiting an O blood type kidney, as every paired exchange transplant removes a patient from the waiting list, it also avoids the incompatible recipient from eventually having to go on the list. Thus, this approach also increases access to deceased donor kidneys for the remaining candidates on the list.

MeSH terms

  • Cadaver
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Living Donors
  • New England
  • Tissue Donors*
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement*