To assess transplantation of high-risk kidneys with incidental renal masses (found occasionally during the routine evaluation of a living kidney donor) into recipients with limited life-expectancy on haemodialysis, as this offers a potential solution to the current organ deficit.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
We detected five small (<2.3 cm), incidental, enhancing renal masses during donor evaluation. All patients had a standard metastatic evaluation. After laparoscopic donor nephrectomy a back-table partial nephrectomy was performed and frozen-section analysis was used to confirm both the diagnosis and negative surgical margins before transplantation.
Renal cell carcinoma was found in three of the five masses (one each cystic, clear cell and papillary; Fuhrman grades II, II and III, respectively) and the other two patients had angiomyolipoma. There were no long-term complications in the transplanted kidneys. One patient developed delayed acute humoral rejection after transplantation and was treated appropriately. Both donor and recipient were followed with periodic imaging. At a median (range) last follow-up of 15 (1–41) months, four patients were alive and one had died from complications after a fall. The cancer-specific survival was 100%. There was no evidence of local recurrence in any patient at the last follow-up.
Live donor kidneys with incidental small renal masses might be acceptable for transplantation in high-risk recipients after careful back-table partial nephrectomy.