The perioperative and long-term risks for living kidney donors are of concern. We have studied donors at the University of Minnesota 20 years or more (mean 23.7) after donation by comparing renal function, blood pressure, and proteinuria in donors with siblings. In 57 donors (mean age 61 [SE 1]), mean serum creatinine is 1.1 (0.01) mg/dl, blood urea nitrogen 17 (0.5) mg/dl, creatinine clearance 82 (2) ml/min, and blood pressure 134 (2)/80 (1) mm Hg. 32% of the donors are taking antihypertensive drugs and 23% have proteinuria. The 65 siblings (mean age 58 [1.3]) do not significantly differ from the donors in any of these variables: 1.1 (0.03) mg/dl, 17 (1.2) mg/dl, 89 (3.3) ml/min, and 130 (3)/80 (1.5) mm Hg, respectively. 44% of the siblings are taking antihypertensives and 22% have proteinuria. To assess perioperative mortality, we surveyed all members of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons about donor mortality at their institutions. We documented 17 perioperative deaths in the USA and Canada after living donation, and estimate mortality to be 0.03%. We conclude that perioperative mortality in the USA and Canada after living-donor nephrectomy is low. In long-term follow-up of our living donors, we found no evidence of progressive renal deterioration or other serious disorders.
Comment In: Lancet. 1992 Nov 28;340(8831):1354-51360068