Kidney Transplant Candidate Evaluation


Address correspondence to: John D. Scandling, MD, 750 Welch Rd., Suite 200, Palo Alto, CA 94304-1509, or e-mail:


The practicing nephrologist is an indispensable component in the evaluation of the candidate for kidney transplantation, from referral to the transplant center to eventual transplantation, which now may be years later. Early referral may lead to preemptive transplantation, the ideal that has been achieved in 25% of living donor transplant cases. Annually approximately 30% of U.S. deceased donor kidneys are now transplanted under the allocation policies for zero human leukocyte antigen (HLA) mismatch kidneys and expanded criteria donor kidneys. Under either of these programs, candidates may receive a kidney offer soon after entering the wait-list, so prompt and complete evaluation and preparation by the practicing nephrologist is necessary for successful early transplantation. The remaining candidates require periodic review while ascending the wait-list and thorough repeat evaluation when nearing the top, as years may have passed since initial evaluation. Wait-list management is a major challenge faced by transplant centers, aggravated by the inexorable growth of the list. Active communication between the practicing nephrologist and the transplant center is essential to maintain the candidate's preparation for transplantation.