The use of living donors for kidney transplantation in the United States has become increasingly common, with recipients of a living donor kidney demonstrating better outcomes and shorter waiting times. Substantial differences exist between transplant centers in their choice of protocols and exclusion criteria for potential living donors. Nevertheless, certain trends in living donation practices over the past 20 years, reflecting a relaxation of some acceptance criteria and a tightening of others, have become apparent from surveys of transplant programs (1) and analysis of registry data collected by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) (2).
Didier A. Mandelbrot, MD, is medical director of the Living Kidney Donor Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, director of clinical trials at the Transplant Institute, and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, in Boston.
Mandelbrot DA, et al.. The medical evaluation of living kidney donors: A survey of US transplant centers. Am J Transplant 2007; 7:2333–2343.