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Live Donor Toolkit: Resources for Those Considering Live Donation

Kidney donation for people with high blood pressure (Hypertension)

Can I donate a kidney if I have high blood pressure?

Until recently, you could not donate a kidney if you had high blood pressure. But now, you may be able to donate if your doctor thinks you have a low chance of getting kidney disease in the future.

Each transplant center has its own rules about who can donate. During your donor evaluation, doctors will measure your blood pressure to find out if you can safely donate a kidney. Tell your doctor if you:

  • Know your past blood pressure readings
  • Take medicine for high blood pressure

You may be able to donate with high blood pressure if:

  • You’re over age 50
  • You’re able to treat your high blood pressure with only 1 medicine

You may not be able to donate with high blood pressure if:

  • You’re young and have family members with kidney disease
  • You’re African American and have higher blood pressure

What do I need to do if I have high blood pressure and want to donate?

You may need extra medical tests, such as:

  • A blood pressure cuff worn for 18-24 hours to check your blood pressure every few minutes
  • An eye exam
  • A heart test

After you donate, you’ll need to see your doctor regularly to watch your long-term health, including:

  • Watching your blood pressure levels
  • Testing your kidney health

How does living kidney donation affect high blood pressure?

In recent studies, most living kidney donors with high blood pressure have stayed healthy. However, African American and Hispanic donors may have a higher chance of getting kidney problems from high blood pressure.

How can I find out my chances of getting kidney disease from high blood pressure?

The ESRD risk  ----- tool can measure your chance of getting kidney disease from high blood pressure. Ask your doctor about using this tool to help you decide if donating will be safe for you. You can use this tool at: http://www.transplantmodels.com/esrdrisk/

 

What is blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of your blood pressing against your blood vessels – like water through a hose. If your blood pressure is too high, it can cause kidney problems, heart attacks, and strokes. High blood pressure often runs in families.

Learn more about high blood pressure and your kidneys at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/atozTopic_HighBloodPressure

REFERENCES

  1. Ibrahim HN, Foley R, Tan L, et al.  Long-term consequences of kidney donation.  N Engl J Med.  2009; 360: 459-69.
  2. Mjoen G, Hallan S, Hartmann A, Foss A, Midtvedt K, Oyen O, et al. Long-term risks for kidney donors. Kidney international. 2014 Jul;86(1):162-7.
  3. Muzaale AD, Massie AB, Wang MC, Montgomery RA, McBride MA, Wainright JL, et al. Risk of end-stage renal disease following live kidney donation. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association. 2014 Feb 12;311(6):579-86.
  4. Delmonico F. A report of the Amsterdam Forum on the care of the live kidney donor: data and medical guidelines.  Transplantation 2005; 79: S53.
  5. Boudville N, Prasad GV, Knoll G, et al.  Donor Nephrectomy Outcomes Research (DONOR) Network.  Meta-analysis: Risk for hypertension in living kidney donors.  Ann Intern Med.  2006; 145: 185-96.
  6. Textor SC, Taler SJ, Driscoll N, et al.  Blood pressure and renal function after kidney donation from hypertensive living kidney donors. Transplantation 2004; 78: 276-282.
  7. Sofue T, Unui M, Hara T, et al.  Short-term prognosis of living-donor kidney transplantation from hypertensive donors with high-normal albuminuria. Transplantation 2015; 97: 104-110.
  8. http://www.transplantmodels.com/esrdrisk/

Note: This information is the opinion of the Living Donor Community of Practice (LDCOP) of the American Society of Transplantation. The LDCOP is a group of health care professionals and researchers who specialize in living kidney donation. The LDCOP’s recommendations are meant to offer you helpful information, but you may find opinions from other groups or organizations that are helpful to you, too.

Last Updated: 
January 23, 2018

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