Purpose of review: The large number of end-stage kidney disease patients waiting for a kidney transplant often means years of delay before a suitable organ becomes available. Living kidney donors are one way to circumvent such long waiting times, and the desire to increase the pool of living kidney donors has allowed the selection of donors with hypertension.
Recent findings: Hypertensive kidney donors, despite having larger glomeruli, and fewer glomeruli, particularly when over the age of 50 years, do well in follow-up. The data are mainly in white living kidney donors whose preexisting hypertension has been well controlled [blood pressure (BP) <140/90 mmHg] on one or two antihypertensive medications. Those selected for donation do as well as nonhypertensive donors as long they are older (age >50 years), nonobese (BMI 26-30 kg/m), and have no evidence of end-organ damage prior to donation.
Summary: Although the data supporting long-term safety of nephrectomy in hypertensive donors are modest, small studies with short-term follow-up suggest no increase in the incidence of kidney disease or worsening of the control of hypertension in donors with a history of high BP.