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Single Kidney Transplant From Young, Deceased Donors Works Well
Date:8/21/2009

Finding challenges notion that an adult must get 2 from a child under 5

FRIDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Adult kidney transplant recipients who receive a single kidney from a very young, deceased donor may do just as well in terms of life expectancy and organ function as those who are given both kidneys, new research has found.

The finding is centered on the controversial issue of how to handle kidney transplants coming from donors 5 years of age or younger, and raises new questions about the common assumption that such kidneys must be transplanted in unison to be viable.

Currently, kidneys taken from children 5 years of age or younger are typically kept together and transplanted as a set into adult recipients, the idea being that splitting up such tiny pediatric organs could undermine the success of the transplant.

By contrast, kidneys taken from donors 10 years of age or older are usually deemed separable. There is no clear protocol regarding kidneys from deceased children between the ages of 5 and 10.

But the new finding suggests that adult patients may fare equally well after receiving just one kidney from a very young donor -- an observation that could prove auspicious for the approximately 80,000 Americans currently awaiting a kidney transplant.

"Basically, the normal practice of giving two small kidneys to an adult is unnecessary," said study author Dr. Rubin Zhang, medical director of kidney and pancreas transplantation at the Tulane University Abdominal Transplant Institute in New Orleans. "It just doesn't make sense to think of this as if two function better than one, because even though a pediatric kidney will grow larger over time everything else about it in terms of its function is there and fixed at birth. So transplanting two is wasting a lot of kidneys."

The findings will be published in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephro
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