Innovative strategies in living donor kidney transplantation

Nat Rev Nephrol. 2012 May 1;8(6):332-8. doi: 10.1038/nrneph.2012.82.


In an effort to increase living donor transplantation while minimizing risk and morbidity, recent advances have been made in surgical technique, kidney paired donation, desensitization, identification of living donors and research into living donor outcomes. Single-port nephrectomy and vaginal extraction have reduced donor nephrectomy incision size. Transport of live donor kidneys has reduced geographic barriers to kidney paired donation, and participation of compatible pairs and nondirected donors has increased match opportunities for incompatible pairs participating in this modality. ABO-incompatible transplantation can now be successfully performed without high-intensity immunomodulation, and HLA-incompatible transplantation has been shown in a large single-center study to provide profound survival benefit compared with waiting for a compatible donor. Complement inhibition is an exciting, emerging approach that may facilitate incompatible transplantation and treat antibody-mediated rejection. Educational and communications interventions are proving valuable in helping patients find living donors, and large studies continue to provide reassurance to carefully screened living donors that risks are very low. As living donors are critical to addressing the profound organ shortage, efforts to increase living donation remain important.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / surgery*
  • Kidney Transplantation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Living Donors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Living Donors / supply & distribution
  • Nephrectomy / methods*
  • Nephrectomy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology