Wednesday, May 21, 2008

ECD Kidneys

For the next 6 weeks I'll be on the Kidney Transplant service at Brigham & Women's Hospital.

The service is certainly less busy than the other services from whence I came--but lately it's been hoppin'. Three cadaveric kidney transplants in three days, and two living donor transplants last Thursday.

The three cadaveric (e.g. from a dead person) transplants were all "ECD" kidneys. This stands for "extended criteria donor" and it basically means that the donor kidney is not in perfect tip-top shape. Usually, we don't use kidneys from patients older than age 60, or if they come from patients with high blood pressure which can damage the kidneys. However for patients who are willing to accept such a suboptimal kidney--from patients >60 yrs old or >50 yrs old with high blood pressure--it can be done. Typically ECD kidneys are offered only to older patients on the transplant list, since the lifespan of ECD kidneys is understandably less. The three ECD recipients from this week had ages of 70, 71, and 78 years old!

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