Computed tomography identified factors that preclude living kidney donation


  • Katerina Mastrocostas
  • Christina M. Chingkoe
  • Kenneth T. Pace
  • Joseph J. Barfett
  • Anish Kirpalani
  • Gevork N. Mnatzakanian
  • Paraskevi A. Vlachou
  • Errol Colak University of Toronto



Introduction: The purpose of this study was to determine the variety and prevalence of renal and non-renal abnormalities detected on multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) that precluded patients from donating a kidney.

Methods: Institutional review board approval was obtained and the requirement for informed consent was waived. A retrospective, single-centre review of 701 patients (444 female, 257 male; age range 18–86 years; mean age 43.2±11.9 years) that underwent renal donor protocol MDCT was conducted. A systematic review of the CT report, records from multidisciplinary renal transplantation rounds, and electronic medical records was performed to determine which patients were approved or declined as live renal donors. If declined as a donor, CT-identified reasons were categorized as abnormalities of renal vasculature, renal parenchyma, collecting system, or extra-renal.

Results: A total of 81 patients were excluded as renal donors on the basis of CT findings. Abnormalities of the collecting system accounted for the most frequent cause of exclusion (n=41), with asymptomatic renal calculi being detected in 39 patients. Complex vascular anatomy and vascular abnormalities resulted in the exclusion of 29 patients. Supernumerary arteries and early arterial branching resulted in the exclusion of 20 patients, while renal vein anomalies leading to exclusion were uncommon (n=2). Abnormalities of renal parenchyma resulted in the exclusion of nine patients. Three patients were diagnosed with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, two patients had renal cell carcinoma, and two patients had areas of cortical scarring. A complex cystic lesion requiring surveillance imaging was encountered in one patient and a large area of renal infarction related to prior adrenalectomy was demonstrated in one patient. Extra-renal abnormalities leading to exclusion were limited to two patients with pulmonary nodules.

Conclusions: MDCT plays a critical role in the preoperative assessment of potential renal donors by identifying contraindications to donor nephrectomy and providing accurate vascular mapping. This study is anticipated to be informative for those involved in the workup of potential living renal donors by quantifying the incidence and reasons for donor exclusion identified on CT.


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Author Biography

Errol Colak, University of Toronto

Assistant Professor

Director of Body CT

Division of Body Imaging

Department of Medical Imaging

St. Michael's Hospital

University of Toronto



How to Cite

Mastrocostas, K., Chingkoe, C. M., Pace, K. T., Barfett, J. J., Kirpalani, A., Mnatzakanian, G. N., Vlachou, P. A., & Colak, E. (2018). Computed tomography identified factors that preclude living kidney donation. Canadian Urological Association Journal, 12(8).



Original Research