Excellent results of transplantation in elderly recipients, together with regulatory requirements encourage continued consideration of this modality. The organ shortage compels the use of deceased-donor kidneys and may be a suboptimal therapy. However, the elderly patient may not tolerate the prolonged wait for an optimal organ. While individual comorbidities can be evaluated, patient selection requires the transplantation team to render a judgment based on the candidate's overall condition, which is best correlated with the ability to accomplish activities of daily living and to perform moderate exercise. Psychosocial considerations are complex in the elderly patient because of frequent dementia, absence of a sufficient support mechanism and the need for more resources than those required by younger patients. After transplantation, appropriate management of immunosuppression typically entails lower doses in elderly patients, a logical consequence of immunosenescence. Transplantation should not be considered an acceptable exercise in futility when the ability to offer this life-saving therapy to other patients will be adversely affected by doing so.
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