Renal function outcomes and kidney biopsy features of living kidney donors with hypertension

Massini A. Merzkani, Aidan Mullan, Aleksandar Denic, Matthew D'Costa, Ryan Iverson, Walter Kremers, Mariam P. Alexander, Stephen C. Textor, Sandra J. Taler, Mark D. Stegall, Joshua Augustine, Naim Issa, Andrew D. Rule

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2 Scopus citations


Background: The medium- to long-term outcomes of living kidney donors with hypertension compared to normotensive donors are not well understood, especially with the recent changes in hypertension guidelines. Methods: We studied a cohort of 950 living kidney donors using different definitions of hypertension based on either ≥140/90 or ≥130/80 mmHg thresholds and based on either office or ambulatory blood pressure readings. Microstructural features on kidney biopsy at the time of donation were compared using different definitions of hypertension. Results: After adjusting for years of follow-up, age, sex, and baseline eGFR, hypertension (by any definition) did not significantly predict an eGFR < 45 ml/min/1.73 m2 at a median follow-up of 10 years postdonation, though there was a borderline association with ambulatory blood pressure ≥ 130/80 mmHg predicting a 40% decline in eGFR (OR = 1.53, 1.00–2.36; p =.051). Proteinuria was predicted by office blood pressure ≥ 140/90 mmHg and by nondipper profile on nocturnal ambulatory blood pressure measurements. At the time of donation, larger glomeruli and arterial hyalinosis on biopsy were associated with hypertension defined by either ≥140/90 or ≥130/80 mmHg (by office or ambulatory measurements). Nocturnal nondipper status was associated with larger glomeruli size but not arteriolar hyalinosis when compared to dippers. Conclusions: In programs that accept donors with controlled hypertension, various definitions of hypertension are associated with histological findings in the donated kidney, but none predict a clinically significant decline in kidney function 10 years after donation. These data support allowing healthy individuals with controlled hypertension to donate a kidney. However, donors with office hypertension (≥140/90 mmHg) and nondippers (regardless of hypertension status) are at greater long-term risk for proteinuria, and particularly for these donors, longer follow-up is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14293
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • arteriosclerosis
  • glomerular filtration rate
  • hypertension
  • implantation biopsy
  • living kidney donation
  • medium- to long-term outcomes
  • nephrosclerosis
  • proteinuria


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