Renal and cardiac assessment of living kidney donor candidates

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| Living kidney donation provides the best therapeutic outcomes for eligible patients with end-stage renal disease. To ensure suitability for living kidney donation, donor candidates undergo a thorough medical, surgical, and psychosocial evaluation by a multidisciplinary transplant assessment team. Numerous guidelines are available to assist clinicians in the process of donor evaluation and selection. These guidelines outline the minimum recommended requirements for donor screening and additional tests that are indicated when abnormalities arise; however, evidence suggests that some of these additional tests might not be required in certain donor candidates. Measured glomerular filtration rate (GFR) using isotopic methods is more accurate than estimated GFR for the assessment of renal function; however, a new clinical tool might enable the identification of donor candidates for whom nuclear medicine renal scans are not needed. Persistent isolated microscopic haematuria caused by urologic or glomerular diseases can preclude donation and such abnormalities can often be identified by kidney biopsy. Cystoscopy might not be useful for young patients, however, owing to the rarity of urological cancers in this population. Currently, no evidence exists to support the notion that donor candidates at low-risk of cardiac events should undergo additional preoperative cardiovascular evaluation before donation. Reducing and/or eliminating the need for additional testing has the potential to enhance efficiency in the donor evaluation process, improve patient satisfaction, and increase access to living donor kidney transplantation.

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