Few kidney transplants done prior to dialysis
A kidney transplant is a life-changing and life-saving procedure.
Yet, a new study conducted by Mayo Clinic and the University of Michigan shows that only one-third of patients who ultimately receive a living donor kidney transplant receive it pre-emptively (i.e., before starting dialysis). Less than two-thirds receive a transplant either pre-emptively or within a year of starting dialysis.
Existing research suggests that less time spent on dialysis before transplant can improve patient outcomes and survival after transplant. However, this new research shows there has been no increase in the utilization of what is known as timely living donor kidney transplants, which includes pre-emptive and early transplants since 2006. The study "Under-utilization of timely kidney transplants in those with living donors" was published recently in the American Journal of Transplantation.
"Early referral to transplant evaluation and access to information about living donor kidney transplantation is key to a successful timely transplant and to improved long-term outcomes," says Mark Stegall, M.D., a professor of surgery at Mayo Clinic and senior author of the manuscript. "One important area where people lack education is on how to communicate with family and friends about their need for a kidney transplant and the fact that live donors offer, on average, a better outcome than deceased donor transplantation."