Donor considerations in pediatric kidney transplantation

  • Jayanthi ChandarEmail author
  • Linda Chen
  • Marissa Defreitas
  • Gaetano Ciancio
  • George BurkeIII
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. What’s New in Renal Transplantation


This article reviews kidney transplant donor options for children with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). Global access to kidney transplantation is variable. Well-established national policies, organizations for organ procurement and allocation, and donor management policies may account for higher deceased donor (DD transplants) in some countries. Living donor kidney transplantation (LD) predominates in countries where organ donation has limited national priority. In addition, social, cultural, religious and medical factors play a major role in both LD and DD kidney transplant donation. Most children with ESKD receive adult-sized kidneys. The transplanted kidney has a finite survival and the expectation is that children who require renal replacement therapy from early childhood will probably have 2 or 3 kidney transplants in their lifetime. LD transplant provides better long-term graft survival and is a better option for children. When a living related donor is incompatible with the intended recipient, paired kidney exchange with a compatible unrelated donor may be considered. When the choice is a DD kidney, the decision-making process in accepting a donor offer requires careful consideration of donor history, kidney donor profile index, HLA matching, cold ischemia time, and recipient’s time on the waiting list. Accepting or declining a DD offer in a timely manner can be challenging when there are undesirable facts in the donor’s history which need to be balanced against prolonging dialysis in a child. An ongoing global challenge is the significant gap between organ supply and demand, which has increased the need to improve organ preservation techniques and awareness for organ donation.


End-stage kidney disease Graft survival Kidney transplant 


Funding information

This work was supported in part by the Health Resources and Services Administration contract 234-2005-37011C.

Compliance with ethical standards


The content is the responsibility of the authors alone and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the US Government.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© IPNA 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric NephrologyUniversity of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami Transplant InstituteMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Department of Surgery, Division of TransplantationUniversity of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami Transplant InstituteMiamiUSA

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