Transplanting kidneys which have stones poses little risk to organ's viability

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Results from a Mayo Clinic study suggest that using kidneys which have kidney stones for living donor transplant has little impact on the organ's function one year later.

"This shows that a small kidney stone should not preclude people from being donors," says George Chow, M.D., Mayo Clinic urologist and senior investigator of the study. "It's not likely for the stones to grow if transplanted."

His colleague investigator, Khai-Linh Van Ho, M.D, Mayo Clinic urology fellow, agrees. "This is good news. We found the stones did not affect the function of the kidney. As far as we know with 26 months of follow-up, we've had no loss of kidneys from obstruction. The grafted kidney survival rate was 97 percent -- the same as the national survival rate for living kidney donation. That's relatively safe."

In the Mayo study, a retrospective chart and radiograph review of 710 donor kidneys, 44 had stones. Of these, 86 percent had 1- to 2-millimeter stones and 14 percent had 3- to 6-millimeter stones. CT scans performed an average of 10.5 months after transplant surgery in 14 patients showed no stones in six patients, stable stone size in four patients and increase in stone size averaging 2.9 millimeters in four patients. No loss of the transplanted kidneys occurred due to stone obstruction in the patients studied.

The question of how patients fare when transplanted with a kidney containing stones has arisen due to shortage of available kidneys, indicate Drs. Chow and Ho. Due to the scarcity, study of transplantation of more "marginal" kidneys has become relevant, they say.

"It's a matter of supply," says Dr. Ho. "Demand has so far outpaced supply of kidneys that we're now considering use of all kinds of kidneys. We're expanding the criteria with transplant. Thus, donors with, say, a very small stones or hypertension are now considered."

Helping patients is the reason for investigating transplant of k

Contact: Lisa Lucier
Mayo Clinic

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