This article reviews kidney transplant donor options for children with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). Global access to kidney transplantation is variable. Well-established national policies, organizations for organ procurement and allocation, and donor management policies may account for higher deceased donor (DD transplants) in some countries. Living donor kidney transplantation (LD) predominates in countries where organ donation has limited national priority. In addition, social, cultural, religious and medical factors play a major role in both LD and DD kidney transplant donation. Most children with ESKD receive adult-sized kidneys. The transplanted kidney has a finite survival and the expectation is that children who require renal replacement therapy from early childhood will probably have 2 or 3 kidney transplants in their lifetime. LD transplant provides better long-term graft survival and is a better option for children. When a living related donor is incompatible with the intended recipient, paired kidney exchange with a compatible unrelated donor may be considered. When the choice is a DD kidney, the decision-making process in accepting a donor offer requires careful consideration of donor history, kidney donor profile index, HLA matching, cold ischemia time, and recipient’s time on the waiting list. Accepting or declining a DD offer in a timely manner can be challenging when there are undesirable facts in the donor’s history which need to be balanced against prolonging dialysis in a child. An ongoing global challenge is the significant gap between organ supply and demand, which has increased the need to improve organ preservation techniques and awareness for organ donation.
- End-stage kidney disease
- Graft survival
- Kidney transplant
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health