When the long-term risks of donating a kidney are discussed, too often someone will bring up that folks born with one kidney are ‘fine’. So I wanted to share this:
Children with a solitary kidney (SK) have an increased long-term risk of hypertension, albuminuria and glomerulosclerosis.
A two-kidneyed person relinquishing a kidney is not different, in terms of these risks. That’s because renal reserve, nephron count and kidney function plays a role in those above factors. The problem is that potential living kidney donors aren’t educated about what kidneys actually *do* or what the affect will be when one is removed.
Among our patient cohort, renal function was well preserved at ages 4–15.5 years in children who were born with a SK [solitary kidney]. However, both their higher blood pressure and RI [resistance index of arteries. This refers to arterial hardening] and the correlation of 24-h albumin urinary excretion with length of follow-up time underline the need for monitoring to detect early signs of glomerular hyperfiltration and, if necessary, implement timely intervention. SK hypertrophy was found to be correlated with postnatal growth.
Ekaterini Siomou, Vasileios Giapros, Frederica Papadopoulou, Maria Pavlou, Andreas Fotopoulos, Antigoni Siamopoulou (2013). Growth and function in childhood of a normal solitary kidney from birth or from early infancy Pediatric Nephrology DOI: 10.1007/s00467-013-2623-4