May 2009


Live kidney donors

Assessment and follow up

Volume 38, No.5, May 2009 Pages 316-320

Vicki Levidiotis


Live kidney donation has increased steadily over the past decade, both in Australia and internationally. In some centres more than 50% of patients receiving a kidney transplant do so from a living related or unrelated donor. Live nondirected or altruistic donation has become more popular, as have paired exchange programs. General practitioners may be involved in pre-donation counselling and the assessment and follow up of otherwise healthy kidney donors.


This overview outlines the clinical pathway and considerations required pre- and post-live kidney donation and highlights some of the uncertainties of donor nephrectomy.


Live donation requires comprehensive physical, psychological and immunological assessment of the donor-recipient pair. Assessment requires an integrated approach that incorporates the skills of a number of clinicians and allied health practitioners. General practitioners have a crucial role in the counselling, assessment and follow up of live kidney donors.

General practitioners routinely manage patients approaching end stage renal failure (ESRF), dialysed patients and renal transplant recipients. The impact of chronic renal failure on families is unquestionable and transplantation affords recipients improved survival rates, reduction of cardiac risk and greater social and financial prospects.

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