New Study Sheds Light On Donor Health After Kidney Transplant

Researchers have new information on kidney donors and their health following successful kidney transplant. Kidneys filter the blood of wastes and toxins, allowing them to be expelled through urine. If the kidneys operate at reduced function or fail completely, the patient has chronic kidney issues which can only be considered “cured” with a successful transplant. We often discuss the health situations of kidney problem sufferers from their perspective, not kidney transplant donor’s…but being a kidney donor carries with it its own unique struggles, which similarly requires vigilance and a special diet. The prognosis for kidney donors is usually good, however, there are always exceptions to the general trend. The health of kidney donors was actually recently the subject of a study conducted in Korea.

Researchers looked at 456 kidney donors in Korea between 2014 and 2016. Their goal was to find out what changes occurred in renal function during this period. Additionally, they were trying to figure out what predicted those changes in renal donors. Researchers found 21.7% of kidney donors developed chronic kidney disease (CKD). Donors who did not have CKD and those who did have it had annual estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) changes after nephrectomy (kidney removal) of 2.2 ml/min/1.73m2/year, and ‐0.4 ml/min/1.73m2/year, respectively.

Researchers said there appeared to be gradual increases in eGFR in kidney donors without CKD 2 years after donation. Donors with CKD showed relatively constant eGFR. Researchers said low ratio of eGFR at discharge after nephrectomy to baseline was a risk factor. Kidney donation can be a lifesaving procedure and one of the most important things you can do for another person, however, it’s also vital to weigh the risks with the benefits and find out if the process is right for you. For more information on all things kidney health related, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel updated regularly!