Expanding living kidney donor criteria with ex-vivo surgery for renal anomalies

Thomas B. McGregor, Christie Rampersad, Premal Patel


Introduction: Renal transplantation remains the gold standard treatment for end-stage renal disease, with living donor kidneys providing the best outcomes in terms of allograft survival. As the number of patients on the waitlist continues to grow, solutions to expand the donor pool are ongoing. A paradigm shift in the eligibility of donors with renal anomalies has been looked at as a potential source to expand the living donor pool. We sought to determine how many patients presented with anatomic renal anomalies at our transplant centre and describe the ex-vivo surgical techniques used to render these kidneys suitable for transplantation.

Methods: A retrospective review was performed of all patients referred for surgical suitability to undergo laparoscopic donor nephrectomy between January 2011 and January 2015. Patient charts were analyzed for demographic information, perioperative variables, urological histories, and postoperative outcomes.

Results: 96 referrals were identified, of which 81 patients underwent laparoscopic donor nephrectomy. Of these patients, 11 (13.6%) were identified as having a renal anomaly that could potentially exclude them from the donation process. These anomalies included five patients with unilateral nephrolithiasis, four patients with large renal cysts (>4 cm diameter), one patient with an angiomyolipoma (AML) and one patient with a calyceal diverticulum filled with stones. A description of the ex-vivo surgical techniques used to correct these renal anomalies is provided.

Conclusions: We have shown here that ex-vivo surgical techniques can safely and effectively help correct some of these renal anomalies to render these kidneys transplantable, helping to expand the living donor pool.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5489/cuaj.3841