African Americans Often Have Complications after Living Kidney Donation

In a study that looked at the frequency and severity of early complications after living kidney donation, African Americans had a 26% increased risk of experiencing any complication and a 56% increased risk of experiencing major complications, after appropriate adjustment was made for other factors.

Krista Lentine, MD, PhD, FASN, of Saint Louis University and her colleagues integrated national US donor registry data from 2008 to 2012 with administrative records from a consortium of 98 academic hospitals. They found that 16.8% of donors experienced complications, most commonly gastrointestinal (4.4%), bleeding (3.0%), respiratory (2.5%), and surgical- or anesthesia-related injuries (2.4%). Major complications affected 2.5% of donors.

In addition to African American race, other significant correlates of major complications included obesity, predonation blood disorders and psychiatric conditions, and robotic nephrectomy. Greater annual hospital volume of living kidney donations predicted lower risk for major complications after the surgery.

“As policies for informed consent, medical evaluation, and follow-up of living organ donors are receiving increased attention and formalization by the organizations that guide and regulate transplantation practice, ongoing efforts to improve the understanding of outcomes after living donation are needed,” said Dr. Lentine. “Ultimately, by improving understanding of the short- and long-term health outcomes among representative, diverse samples of living donors, the transplant community can strengthen the processes of consent, selection, and clinical management that are vital priorities.”

“Racial Disparities in Perioperative Complications after Live Kidney Donation” (Abstract FR-OR071).