Could biopsies of donor kidneys help reduce waiting lists?

A lot of kidneys are often rejected as they are seen as unsuitable for transplantation, due to the donor’s age or the fact that they had a serious health condition.

To address the shortage, researchers have developed a new tool to analyse kidneys to see if they are suitable for transplantation – including those which have been initially rejected because the donors were too old or too ill.

In the largest study of its kind, researchers showed that conducting pre-implantation biopsies to assess the quality of the kidneys can help surgeons determine whether they are suitable for surgery.

There are now proposals to bring these biopsies into routine practice for kidney transplants, so more procedures can be carried out, reducing the number that are discarded. This could lead to reducing waiting times for kidney transplants and save hundreds of lives.

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