Short- and Long-Term Donor Outcomes After Kidney Donation: Analysis of 601 Cases Over a 35-Year Period at Japanese Single Center

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The lack of deceased donors in Japan means that living-donor kidney transplantation is necessary in as many as 80% of cases. However, there are few data on perioperative complications and long-term outcome for live kidney donors.


To determine associated perioperative morbidity and long-term mortality among live kidney donors, we reviewed 601 donor nephrectomies performed at our institution between 1970 and 2006 and attempted to contact all of the donors (or their families) to ascertain their present physical status. The survival rate and causes of death were compared with an age- and gender-matched cohort from the general population.


Although three donors (0.5%) experienced major perioperative complications, that is, femoral nerve compression, pulmonary thrombosis, and acute renal failure, all of the donors recovered and left hospital without complications. Among 481 donors (80%) for whom details were available at the time of inspection, 426 (88.5%) were still surviving. Donor survival rates at 5, 10, 20, and 30 years were 98.3%, 94.7%, 86.4%, and 66.2%, respectively. The mean interval between kidney donation and death was 183±102 (7–375) months, and the mean age at death was 70±11 years. The survival rate of kidney donors was better than the age- and gender-matched cohort from the general population, and the patterns and causes of death were similar.


Our data suggest that continuation of living-donor kidney transplantation programs is justified in short- and long-term donor safety.

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