Kidney Transplantation From Donors Without a Heartbeat
Ambuhl, Patrice M.
New England Journal of Medicine 2002 July 25; 347(4): 248-255
BACKGROUND: The dramatic shortage of kidney donors has triggered interest in other sources of organs, such as donors without a heartbeat. Accumulating evidence suggests that the short-term survival of cadaveric kidneys from such donors is similar to that of cadaveric kidneys from donors with a heartbeat. However, no data from large, matched studies with long-term follow-up are available. We conducted a matched, single-center study of kidney transplants obtained from donors without a heartbeat and those from donors with a heartbeat, with a 15-year follow-up period. METHODS: Between 1985 and 2000, 122 kidney transplantations involving donors without a heartbeat were performed at the University of Zurich, in Switzerland. Outcomes of these procedures were compared with those of 122 transplantations of kidneys from donors with a heartbeat. The recipients were matched according to age, sex, number of transplantations, and calendar period of transplantation. RESULTS: The characteristics of the recipients did not differ significantly between the two groups. We observed a significantly higher incidence of delayed graft function among the patients who received kidneys from donors without a heartbeat (48.4 percent) than among the patients who received kidneys from donors with a heartbeat (23.8 percent) (P
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