This page follows the page about kidney
As kidney dialysis (also known as "renal dialysis") is costly and
inconvenient for the patient, the possibility of a kidney
transplant is appropriate for some patients diagnosed with
kidney failure (or extemely poor kidney function).
Patients who have chronic renal
failure - e.g. due to causes such as chronic pyelonephritis,
diabetes mellitus, hypertension, polycystic kidneys, or
connective tissue disorders, are maintained on dialysis until
a suitable donor kidney becomes available.
Kidneys can be donated for transplant from either:
- a cadaver (recently deceased donor), or
- a living related donor.
In both cases necessary conditions are that there is:
- ABO Blood Group compatibility, and
- human leucocyte antigen (HLA) tissue-type compatibility.
Kidney Transplantation Procedure Diagram
The donor kidney must be transplanted with 24-28 hours of removal from
It is transplanted into the pelvic area (as shown in
the diagram on the left), and the renal blood vessels
are anastomosed* to the illiac blood vessels. The donor
ureter is implanted into the bladder.
The contents of the donor
ureter can be sampled and the concentration of solutes tested
to ascertain the success of the procedure very soon after
it has been completed.
Complications arising from kidney transplants may include rejection
of the new kidney (either immediately "acute
rejection" or some time later), acute tubular
necrosis, or infection.
After a kidney transplant patients are advised to take immunosuppressive
medication indefinately (i.e. lifelong).
Success of Kindney Transplants:
Graft survival is 80% one year after the procedure, and 60% 5
years after the procedure - according to 2001 UK statistics.
The relatively high overall success rate
for kidney transplants can be attributed to the following:
- The vascular connections are relatively simple (as shown in
the diagram above).
- It is possible to accept kidneys from live donors, which enables
very close blood matching between donors and recipients.
- Partly due to (2.), above, there are fewer immuno-supression-related
problems (in which the body's own immune system react against
the new kidney) than might otherwise be the case.
This topic is not strictly "Basic Anatomy & Physiology" but
is simple information about a procedure.
It may be of interest to students but included as part of course requirements.