Donor pre-treatment in clinical kidney transplantation: A critical appraisal

Dorottya K. de Vries, Leonie G.M. Wijermars, Marlies E.J. Reinders, Jan H.N. Lindeman, Alexander F.M. Schaapherder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlePopular

12 Citations (Scopus)


Kidney transplantation represents one of the medical achievements of the 20th century. However, its continued success is limited by the increasing shortage of donor grafts. As a result, more kidney grafts from marginal donors are being considered for transplantation, with concomitantly more initial graft injury and limited organ and patient survival. This has led to an increased need for interventions aiming to optimize and preserve graft quality. Interventions within the donor may protect against ischemia/reperfusion injury, and therefore, donor pre-treatment is a promising strategy to increase graft function and survival. During the last decade, diverse donor pre-treatment interventions have been explored in animal studies. Moreover, the first human trials concerning donor pre-treatment in kidney transplantation have provided encouraging results. Unfortunately, it remains difficult to determine how and where to intervene in the multifactorial and complex processes that affect the donor kidney. Moreover, ethical matters play a critical role in donor interventions, and pre-treatment should principally not have any potentially unfavorable effects on other organs to be transplanted or on the living donor. This review provides an overview of promising therapeutical strategies for donor pre-treatment in kidney transplantation and discusses the clinical trials that have been conducted thus far.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)799-808
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


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