“Performing double transplants using kidneys that would otherwise be discarded may be one viable solution to the growing shortage of organs for transplantation,” said Robert Stratta, M.D., professor of surgery at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

During the 45-month study period, 19 patients underwent double transplants using organs from deceased donors that had been turned down by other centres because of limited function. The kidneys had marginal filtering capacity either because they were from children or from older adults who had begun to lose some kidney function.

“Patients who received double kidney transplants had similar short-term outcomes to patients who received single transplants,” said Stratta. “In our short-term follow-up, we found that we could achieve excellent patient survival and kidney function using marginal kidneys if they are both transplanted into a single recipient.”

The mean ages of the donors were 22 months for the paediatric kidneys and 65 years for the adult kidneys. Patient survival in both groups was 100 percent during a follow-up period of 20 months for those receiving adult kidneys and 10 months for those receiving paediatric kidneys. Kidney graft survival rates were 87 percent and 100 percent, respectively.

Stratta said a key to success is selecting patients with a lower risk of rejection and matching the estimated function of the kidneys to the needs of the recipient.

While double transplants have been performed since the mid-1990s, they are not common. The significance of the current study was that it used kidneys from donors at the extremes of age. The use of dual transplants from these donors is part of an ongoing effort to learn more about which kidneys are suitable for transplant to make the best use of the limited number of organs from deceased donors.

MEDICA.de; Source: Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center