Background: Living kidney donor transplantation, a treatment option for end-stage kidney failure, may achieve better results than cadaveric donor transplantation. Although its significant use in some countries is due to the scarcity of cadaveric donors, it is also useful because it reduces waiting time for young recipients and avoids dialysis when performed before starting renal replacement therapy. Due to the high rate of cadaveric donation in Spain, there has only been a limited increase in the number of living donor kidney transplantations.
Methods: In February 2004, we initiated a program to promote living kidney donation (LKD) through an information plan that was transmitted to the patients by dialysis nephrologists and chronic kidney failure outpatient clinics.
Results: From February 2004 to March 2010, we evaluated 109 donor and recipient pairs: parent to child (n=48 cases; 44%), spouses (n=32 cases; 29.3%), siblings (n=27; 24.7%), and uncle and nephew (n=2; 1.8%). The mean donor age (49±9 years) was significantly higher than the 39±13 years of the recipients (P<.01). In 45 cases (41.3%), the procedure led to of living kidney donor transplantation but in 58 (53.2%), a transplantation was not performed due to recipient problems (n=53) or donor problems (n=5). In 6 cases (5.5%), the evaluation is still pending. With the initiation of this project, it has been possible to significantly increase the rate of living kidney donor transplantation in our hospital from 0.8% (March to January 2004: 16/1964) to 4.2% (February 2004 to March 2010: 43/1022 transplants; P<.01).
Conclusion: A policy of active information together with adequate studies of the potential donor and recipient significantly increased the number of living kidney donor transplantations. The profitability of the study procedure was 50%. The most frequent cause of noncompletion of the procedure was recipient-related problems.
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