How will I be evaluated for a kidney transplant if I am an older adult?

Audrey K. Chun, MD
Geriatric Medicine
A potential transplant candidate is evaluated by several healthcare professionals, who discuss all aspects of the patient's situation and make a collective decision. When evaluating older patients, you must factor in the wait time for a kidney, which is an average of four to seven years, so you also have to project what the patient's condition will be several years in the future. Therefore, elderly patients should be counseled regarding the expanded criteria donor (ECD) transplant option. ECD kidneys come from deceased donors older than 50 years with some additional risk factors, like hypertension, or from donors older than 60 years of age. ECD kidneys don't last as long as standard criteria kidneys (SCDs) -- studies suggest about five years -- but they still extend life longer than if the patient remained on dialysis.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.