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Risk of serious gastrointestinal bleeding in living kidney donors


Individuals with moderate to severe reduced renal function have greater risk of gastrointestinal bleeding than those with normal renal function. We conducted a retrospective matched cohort study to assess whether living kidney donors share a similar risk. We reviewed pre-donation charts for living kidney donations from 1992-2009 in Ontario, Canada and linked this information to healthcare databases. We selected healthy non-donors from the general population and matched ten non-donors to every donor. Of the 2,009 donors and 20,090 matched non-donors, none had evidence of gastrointestinal bleeding prior to cohort entry. The cohort was followed for a median of 8.4 years (maximum 19.7 years; loss to follow-up <7%). There was no significant difference in the rate of hospitalization with gastrointestinal bleeding in donors compared to non-donors (18.5 vs 14.9 events per 10,000 person-years; rate ratio 1.24; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.85-1.81). Similar results were obtained when we assessed the time to first hospitalization with gastrointestinal bleeding (hazard ratio 1.25, 95% CI 0.87-1.79). In conclusion, we found living kidney donation was not associated with a higher risk of hospitalization with gastrointestinal bleeding. These results are reassuring for the safety of the practice.



Thomas SM, Lam NN, Huang A, Nash DM, Prasad GV, Knoll GA, Koval JJ, Lentine KL, Kim SJ, Alam A, Lok CE, Treleaven DJ, Garg AX; Donor Nephrectomy Outcomes Research (DONOR) Network. Clin Transplant. 2014; 28(5):530-9. Epub 2014 Apr 11.

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