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Clinical Crossroads
Clinician's Corner
February 9, 2011

Live Kidney DonationA 36-Year-Old Woman Hoping to Donate a Kidney to Her Mother

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Dr Pavlakis is Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Medical Director, Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

JAMA. 2011;305(6):592-599. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.56

Ms D, a healthy 36-year old-woman, wishes to donate a kidney to her mother, who has diabetes and end-stage renal disease. Ms D has been evaluated as a donor at another medical center and was told to lose weight and quit smoking. Evidence from cohort studies suggests that live kidney donation is a safe procedure in the short and long terms, although donor follow-up studies have often had incomplete data on limited populations. The benefits of live donation are mostly for the recipient, but kidney donors often have improved quality of life as a result of both their generous act and the improved health of the recipient. Evaluation and eligibility of live kidney donors and their short- and long-term risks are discussed.