Kidney transplantation: the use of living donors with renal artery lesions

J Urol. 1998 Oct;160(4):1244-7. doi: 10.1016/s0022-5347(01)62508-4.


Purpose: A shortage of organs for transplantation has forced surgeons to optimize the use of marginal organs, such as kidneys with arterial disease. We present a retrospective study of the outcome of donors with renal artery disease and recipients of kidneys from living related and unrelated donors.

Materials and methods: Kidneys with vascular abnormalities from healthy living donors were grafted into 11 recipients. These kidney transplants comprised 1.8% of those performed at our institution. The vascular abnormalities were aneurysms in 3 cases, atherosclerotic lesions in 4 and fibromuscular dysplasia in 4. After nephrectomy all abnormalities were corrected under hypothermic conditions during bench surgery except in 3 cases of ostial atherosclerotic plaque, which was left in the donors. The renal artery was anastomosed to the external iliac artery in 5 cases and to the internal iliac artery in 6. The ureter was reimplanted using an extravesical technique.

Results: All patients had immediate diuresis and no delayed post-transplant graft dysfunction was observed. One patient died of an unrelated cause and 3 had post-transplant graft function loss due to acute vasculopathy in 1, post-diarrhea with acute arterial thrombosis in 1 and recurrence of the hemolytic-uremic syndrome in 1. All remaining patients are well with median serum creatinine of 1.4 mg./dl. (normal 0.4 to 1.4). All donors are well and normotensive with normal renal function.

Conclusions: The use of kidneys with arterial disease from living donors with unilateral disease is safe. Complete informed consent regarding the risks and benefits by donor and recipient is mandatory.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aneurysm*
  • Arteriosclerosis*
  • Female
  • Fibromuscular Dysplasia*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Living Donors*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Artery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement*