Better graft outcomes from offspring donor kidneys among living donor kidney transplant recipients in the United States

Am J Transplant. 2019 Jan;19(1):269-276. doi: 10.1111/ajt.15126. Epub 2018 Oct 16.


A recent study reported that kidney transplant recipients of offspring living donors had higher graft loss and mortality. This seemed counterintuitive, given the excellent HLA matching and younger age of offspring donors; we were concerned about residual confounding and other study design issues. We used Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients data 2001-2016 to evaluate death-censored graft failure (DCGF) and mortality for recipients of offspring versus nonoffspring living donor kidneys, using Cox regression models with interaction terms. Recipients of offspring kidneys had lower DCGF than recipients of nonoffspring kidneys (15-year cumulative incidence 21.2% vs 26.1%, P < .001). This association remained after adjustment for recipient and transplant factors (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 0.73 0.770.82 , P < .001), and was attenuated among African American donors (aHR 0.77 0.850.95 ; interaction: P = .01) and female recipients (aHR 0.77 0.840.91 , P < .001). Although offspring kidney recipients had higher mortality (15-year mortality 56.4% vs 37.2%, P < .001), this largely disappeared with adjustment for recipient age alone (aHR = 1.02 1.061.10 , P = .002) and was nonsignificant after further adjustment for other recipient characteristics (aHR = 0.93 0.971.01 , P = .1). Kidneys from offspring donors provided lower graft failure and comparable mortality. An otherwise eligible donor should not be dismissed because they are the offspring of the recipient, and we encourage continued individualized counseling for potential donors.

Keywords: donors and donation: living; ethnicity/race; graft survival; health services and outcomes research; kidney transplantation/nephrology; kidney transplantation: living donor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Graft Rejection / etiology
  • Graft Survival
  • HLA Antigens
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kidney / surgery*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / ethnology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / surgery*
  • Kidney Transplantation / methods*
  • Living Donors*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Registries
  • Transplant Recipients*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States


  • HLA Antigens