Background: Efforts to maximize kidney transplantation are tempered by concern for the live donor's safety. Case series and center surveys exist, but national aggregate data are lacking. We sought to determine predictors of early clinical and economic outcomes following living donor nephrectomy.
Design: A retrospective cross-sectional analysis using 1999-2005 discharge data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Nationwide Inpatient Sample was performed. Cases were identified by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9), codes. Clinical and economic outcomes were analyzed with regard to patient and provider characteristics using bivariate and multivariate regression analyses.
Setting: Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Nationwide Inpatient Sample.
Patients: Patients undergoing living donor nephrectomy, identified by the ICD-9 codes.
Interventions: Clinical and economic outcomes were analyzed with regard to patient and provider characteristics using bivariate and multivariate regression analyses.
Main outcome measures: In-hospital complications, mortality, mean length of stay (LOS), and mean total hospital costs.
Results: A total of 6320 cases were identified with 0% mortality and a complication rate of 18.4%. The mean (SD) LOS was 3.3 (0.3) days, and the mean inpatient cost was $10 708 ($505). Independent predictors of donor complications included older age (odds ratio [OR], 1.01), male sex (OR, 1.19), Charlson Comorbidity Index of at least 1 (OR, 1.49), obesity (OR, 1.76), medium-size hospitals (OR, 1.88), and low-volume hospitals (OR, 1.37). Predictors of longer LOS included older age, female sex, Charlson score of at least 1, lower household income, low-volume and urban hospitals, and low-volume surgeons.
Conclusions: Kidney donation is associated with a low mortality rate but an 18% complication rate. Donation by those with advanced age or obesity is associated with higher risks. Informed consent should include discussion of these risks.