There are two types of kidney transplants.
- Living (related or unrelated) donor. A living related donor includes a brother/sister, children, parents, and other relatives. A living unrelated donor is a friend, neighbor, or others.
- Deceased (cadaver or non-living) donor. A non-living donor is someone who has died and made an end-of-life choice to donate their organs to others in need.
Kidney Transplant Evaluation
People with kidney disease must be evaluated by a kidney transplant program in order to receive a kidney transplant. For patients who have not started a dialysis treatment referring to transplant with a GFR of 25 or less. (GFR Stage 4) is recommended. Anyone on dialysis can be referred to a kidney transplant program to learn more.
You may receive a kidney from a deceased donor or from a living donor. A living donor that matches will be transplanted after all tests are completed. If you do not have a living donor, you will be placed on a waiting list for kidney of a deceased donor. The waiting time for a kidney varies..
To receive a transplant, four factors are considered when matching kidneys with potential recipients.
- Blood type- Some blood types can be given to others and some cannot. The blood type of the donor must be compatible with the recipient.
- Human leukocyte antigens (HLAs)- Antigens are proteins on cells in the body. If a recipient has strong antibodies against a donor’s HLA antigens, the risk of rejection is high.
- Cross-matching antigens- Occasionally the levels of antibodies that a recipient has against a donor are low. The results is a negative crossmatch when the recipient blood and the donor blood is mixed. Giving the recipient a positive outcome of transplant.
- Paired Donation- Occurs when a living donor has not matched their recipient. The living donor agrees to another match on the list then the recipient would be matched to another donor on the list.