Long-term outcomes of kidney donors

Curr Opin Nephrol Hypertens. 2011 Nov;20(6):605-9. doi: 10.1097/MNH.0b013e32834bd72b.


Purpose of review: Living kidney donors face a unique decision of self-sacrifice that is not without potential risk. The purpose of this review is to highlight existing research regarding the perioperative morbidity, mortality and long-term outcomes of living kidney donors.

Recent findings: Recent studies of long-term donor survival have affirmed that the life expectancy for living kidney donors is excellent and their risk of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is not increased. Long-term health outcomes for living donors representing minority groups, however, may not be as favorable. Recent studies conclude that African-American and Hispanic donors, similarly to nondonors of the same race, are at higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD), hypertension, and diabetes mellitus. Outcomes in medically complex donors have also generated considerable attention, and the evidence on outcomes among otherwise healthy obese and older donors appears to be reassuring.

Summary: Living kidney donation is a superior transplantation option for many individuals with ESRD. The survival and health consequences of living donation have proven to be excellent. These favorable outcomes stem from careful screening measures, and further research endeavors are needed to ensure long-term living donor safety in high-risk donors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / etiology
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Life Expectancy
  • Living Donors*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting / adverse effects*
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting / mortality
  • United States / epidemiology