Is laparoscopic donation safe for paediatric recipients? A study of 85 paediatric recipients comparing open and laparoscopic donor nephrectomy

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The safety of adult laparoscopic donor nephrectomy remains controversial with respect to paediatric recipients with few data existing about its efficacy. Small studies have shown no difference in graft survival when compared with open techniques, but previous data from United Network for Organ Sharing suggests a higher incidence of rejection in laparoscopically procured kidneys.


We examined the outcome in a total of 85 consecutive paediatric renal recipients, comparing 46 recipients of laparoscopically procured kidneys (performed over a 3-year period, 2004–07) to a historical control of 39 open donor recipients. Thirty-seven laparoscopic donors were by the hand-assisted technique.


Mean recipient age was 9.8 (SD 5.04) years in the laparoscopic group and 10.4 (SD 4.67) years in the open group (P = 0.617). Two patients had delayed graft function in the laparoscopic group (4.3%) and one (2.5%) in the open group (P = 0.562). At 1 year follow-up, there was 100% graft survival in the laparoscopic group compared to 92% (P = 0.093) in the open group. Incidence of biopsy-proven acute rejection within 1 year of transplant was 26% (16 episodes in 12 patients) in the laparoscopic group compared to 41% (29 episodes in 16 patients) in the open group (P = 0.219). There were no deaths in the laparoscopic group but there were three deaths (7.6%) in the open group (P = 0.093).


Our experience of laparoscopic kidney donation for paediatric recipients suggests excellent outcome with no difference in rejection rate or graft survival compared to open donation. Laparoscopic donation is the optimal method of kidney procurement for paediatric recipients.

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