Introduction: A critical question facing transplant programs is whether, when, and how to safely accept living kidney donors (LKDs) who have recovered from COVID-19 infection. The purpose of the study is to understand current practices related to accepting these LKDs. Methods: We surveyed US transplant programs from 3 September through 3 November 2020. Center level and participant level responses were analyzed. Results: A total of 174 respondents from 115 unique centers responded, representing 59% of US LKD programs and 72.4% of 2019 and 72.5% of 2020 LKD volume (Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network-OPTN 2021). In all, 48.6% of responding centers had received inquiries from such LKDs, whereas 44.3% were currently evaluating. A total of 98 donors were in the evaluation phase, whereas 27.8% centers had approved 42 such donors to proceed with donation. A total of 50.8% of participants preferred to wait >3 months, and 91% would wait at least 1 month from onset of infection to LD surgery. The most common reason to exclude LDs was evidence of COVID-19−related AKI (59.8%) even if resolved, followed by COVID-19−related pneumonia (28.7%) and hospitalization (21.3%). The most common concern in accepting such donors was kidney health postdonation (59.2%), followed by risk of transmission to the recipient (55.7%), donor perioperative pulmonary risk (41.4%), and donor pulmonary risk in the future (29.9%). Conclusion: Practice patterns for acceptance of COVID-19−recovered LKDs showed considerable variability. Ongoing research and consensus building are needed to guide optimal practices to ensure safety of accepting such donors. Long-term close follow-up of such donors is warranted.
- kidney transplantation
- living kidney donation
- recovered living kidney donors
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