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

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The notion that a single pediatric kidney transplant might be as effective as a double transplant has huge implications, given that an estimated 4,000 American men and women with kidney disease die before a suitable organ becomes available, according to background information in the study.

To assess the viability of single pediatric kidney transplantations, the study authors tracked 79 adult kidney recipients who were patients at Tulane University Abdominal Transplant Institute between 1996 and 2007. During that time, all the adult patients received just one kidney from a deceased donor who was 10 years of age or younger.

Half the adults were given a single kidney from a child between the ages of 5 and 10, while the other half received a kidney from a child who was under the age of 5 -- the youngest donor being a 9-month old female.

By most measures, the two groups fared equally well, regardless of the age of the donor child. Both groups were similar in terms of the need for additional surgery following the transplant due to complications, and both experienced comparable rates of kidney rejection and kidney function delays.

Also, kidney function improved along the same trajectory among both groups of recipients during the first three years following transplantation, and both had similar survival rates following surgery.

Zhang and his colleagues noted that the two kidneys from the 9-month-old donor remained healthy and functioning six years after they were transplanted into two separate patients.

The researchers did find that nearly twice as many recipients of kidneys from children younger than 5 had to undergo a urine-drainage procedure following transplantation.

But, the study authors concluded that single kidney transplants from children younger than 5 years old are safe and effective.

Zhang said that he views his finding as definitive, and suggested that "no matter
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