The impact of accepting living kidney donors with mild hypertension or proteinuria on transplantation rates

Am J Kidney Dis. 2006 Feb;47(2):317-23. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2005.10.012.


Background: As waiting times for kidney transplantation increase, individuals with hypertension or proteinuria may be considered as eligible living donors. We set out to determine how frequently donors are excluded because of hypertension or proteinuria and to what extent accepting such donors would increase transplantation rates.

Methods: Wait lists from 4 Canadian transplantation centers were examined for causes of living kidney donor exclusion. Donors with hypertension (clinic blood pressure >140/90 mm Hg or requiring antihypertensive medication) or proteinuria historically have been excluded at these centers. We define potentially acceptable hypertension as a clinic blood pressure less than 150/100 mm Hg or less than 140/90 mm Hg if administered a single antihypertensive medication and define acceptable proteinuria as protein of 0.15 to 0.3 g/d.

Results: Only 35% (124 of 352 patients) of wait-listed patients had a living donor evaluated (n = 180 potential donors). Primary reasons for donor exclusion were immunologic: a positive cross-match (32%; n = 59) or blood group type incompatibility (22%; n = 40). Hypertension or proteinuria were less common (17%; n = 31). Of 31 donors excluded for hypertension or proteinuria, only 13 had results in the acceptable range. Acceptance of these donors would have resulted in transplantation of 3% (12 of 352 patients) of the wait-list population.

Conclusion: Accepting living donors with mild hypertension and proteinuria will lead to a slight increase in transplantation rates. Efforts to improve living donor awareness and overcome immunologic barriers to transplantation may have a greater impact.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension*
  • Kidney Transplantation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Living Donors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proteinuria*
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / statistics & numerical data*