Background: Living donors are the major source of kidneys in countries with a shortage of deceased donors. Kidney donation after careful donor selection is generally accepted as a safe procedure, but the physiologic consequences after donor nephrectomy are not fully verified. In this study we retrospectively reviewed the renal function of the residual kidney in living donors. Methods: Post-nephrectomy laboratory data of 1,175 living donors (60.7%) from 1,933 living donors who received uninephrectomy from January 1999 to December 2017 at Yonsei University, Severance Hospital, Korea were retrospectively collected. Post-nephrectomy renal function was monitored by the relative ratio of estimated glomerular filtration rate (e-GFR; pre-nephrectomy e-GFR ratio vs. post-nephrectomy e-GFR) that was calculated by the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease formula. Results: During 36.3±37.6 months of mean follow-up, two cases (0.17%, 2/1,175) of renal failure developed. The mean e-GFR decreased to 64.3±14.2 mL/min/1.73 m2 immediately after nephrectomy from 99.2±19.9 mL/min/1.73 m2 of the pre-nephrectomy e-GFR. Early decrement of e-GFR was prominent in male and obese donors (body mass index >25 kg/m2, P<0.05). The e-GFR ratio increased according to post-nephrectomy duration, and the mean increment degree of e-GFR ratio after nephrectomy calculated by linear regression analysis was 1.94% per year. Unlike the early decrement of e-GFR ratio after nephrectomy, donor factors such as degree of obesity and donor sex did not affect the late increment of e-GFR ratio after nephrectomy (P>0.05). Conclusions: Our data showed that long-term compensation of the renal function after nephrectomy occurs independently of preoperative donor characteristics.
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