Is living kidney donation the answer to the economic problem of end-stage renal disease?

Semin Nephrol. 2009 Sep;29(5):533-8. doi: 10.1016/j.semnephrol.2009.06.010.


The escalating number and cost of treating patients with end-stage renal disease is a considerable economic concern for health care systems and societies globally. Compared with dialysis, kidney transplantation leads to improved patient survival and quality of life, as well as cost savings to the health payer. Despite efforts to increase kidney transplantation, the gap between supply and demand continues to grow. In this article we explore the economic consideration of both living and deceased transplantation. Although living kidney donation has several advantages from an economic perspective, efforts to increase both deceased and living donation are required. Strategies to increase kidney donation are underfunded, and even costly strategies are likely to lead to net health care savings. However, demonstration of efficacy of these strategies is required to ensure efficient use of resources.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Kidney / surgery*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / economics*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / surgery*
  • Kidney Transplantation / economics*
  • Living Donors*
  • Renal Dialysis / economics
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / economics*
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / methods