Preemptive kidney transplantation: has it come of age?

Nephrol Ther. 2012 Nov;8(6):428-32. doi: 10.1016/j.nephro.2012.06.004. Epub 2012 Jul 28.


The benefits of preemptive kidney transplantation are manifold. By avoiding complications associated with dialysis, preemptive kidney transplantation offers significant benefits in terms of patient welfare and societal cost-saving. Patients transplanted preemptively also tend to enjoy better patient and graft survival, especially when done with a living-donor organ. While dialysis exposure limited to 6 to 12 months may not significantly impact post-transplant outcomes, longer period of dialysis has been shown to increase the risk of mortality, delayed graft function, acute rejection, and death-censored graft loss. The benefits of preemptive transplantation also extend to different age groups and end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) diagnoses. However, multiple barriers have prevented wider adoption of preemptive transplantation as the primary treatment of ESKD around the world. Timely preparation for ESKD and identification of living donors should be encouraged in all patients with advanced chronic kidney disease to increase the chance of preemptive transplantation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Graft Survival*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / surgery*
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Kidney Transplantation / methods*
  • Kidney Transplantation / mortality
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Renal Dialysis / methods
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome