Older Kidneys OK for Transplant

Kidneys donated by people who are 65 and older may function years after transplantation, according to a new report.

“Kidneys from an old donor may be favorably used, particularly in an age-matched patient,” said Dr. Luigi Biancone, lead author of the study and associate professor of nephrology at the University of Torino in Italy, CNN reports.

The practice has been to disregard kidneys donated by older donors. But the organ shortage for people waiting for a kidney transplant is dire.

Currently, more than 99,000 people are waiting for kidneys in the United States, according to United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), but only 12,245 transplant operations have been performed this year, CNN reports.

To exclude an organ just based on age is probably not appropriate," said Dr. David Klassen, chief medical officer of UNOS.

After five years of studying more than 640 kidney transplants, Biancone and his team determined that doctors can use older donors, even up to the age of 80, to provide health kidneys.

Sourced from CNN.