US surgeons at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore have successfully transplanted donor kidneys after removing benign masses from them. The success of this technique promises to provide some hope for patients battling end-stage renal disease.
"Transplanting a living donor kidney which has been affected by a renal mass is controversial and considered a high risk" said study co-author Dr Michael W Phelan. "However the ongoing shortage of organs from deceased donors, and the high risk of dying while waiting for a transplant, prompted five donors and recipients to push ahead with surgery after the small masses were found in the donor kidneys."
The surgeons treated five cases by removing masses in the donor kidneys. They first put the organs on ice and then removed the cancerous masses with adequate margins of normal tissue before reconstructing and then transplanting the organs. During a follow-up period of 41 months, four patients were still alive, while the fifth died in an unrelated accident.
"The current study provides evidence to suggest that kidneys from donors with renal masses offer a minor, yet feasible, solution to the current organ shortage," Dr Phelan said. The details of the study appear in the December issue of the UK-based urology journal BJUI.