Table of contents

Kidney transplantation

What's new

Updated 2024 EAU and 2024 KDIGO guidelines on kidney transplantation.


Key sources

The following summarized guidelines for the evaluation and management of kidney transplantation are prepared by our editorial team based on guidelines from the American Diabetes Association (ADA 2024), the European Association of Urology (EAU 2024), the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes Foundation (KDIGO 2024,2021,2020), the European Society of Hypertension (ESH 2023), the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA 2021), and the...
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Diagnostic investigations

Matching and compatibility: as per EAU 2024 guidelines, Determine the ABO blood group and the HLA A, B, C, and DR phenotypes in all candidates awaiting kidney transplantation.
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  • Assessment of smoking status

  • Assessment of psychosocial issues

  • Evaluation for eligibility, general principles

  • Evaluation for eligibility, age

  • Evaluation for eligibility, weight

  • Evaluation for eligibility, malignancy (hematologic)

  • Evaluation for eligibility, malignancy (solid tumors)

  • Evaluation for eligibility, viral infections (HIV)

  • Evaluation for eligibility, viral infections (HCV)

  • Evaluation for eligibility, viral infections (HBV/HDV)

  • Evaluation for eligibility, viral infections (other)

  • Evaluation for eligibility, bacterial/fungal/parasitic infections

  • Evaluation for eligibility, diabetes

  • Evaluation for eligibility, polycystic kidney disease

  • Evaluation for eligibility, glomerular diseases

  • Evaluation for eligibility, antiphospholipid syndrome

  • Evaluation for eligibility, ANCA vasculitis

  • Evaluation for eligibility, hemolytic-uremic syndrome

  • Evaluation for eligibility, systemic sclerosis

  • Evaluation for eligibility, multiple myeloma

  • Evaluation for eligibility, light/high chain deposition disease

  • Evaluation for eligibility, AL/AA amyloidosis

  • Evaluation for eligibility, hyperoxaluria

  • Evaluation for eligibility, storage diseases

  • Evaluation for eligibility, renal sarcoidosis

  • Evaluation for eligibility, Alport syndrome

  • Evaluation for eligibility, pulmonary diseases

  • Evaluation for eligibility, cardiac diseases

  • Evaluation for eligibility, PAD

  • Evaluation for eligibility, neurologic diseases

  • Evaluation for eligibility, gastrointestinal diseases

  • Evaluation for eligibility, hematologic diseases

  • Evaluation for eligibility, antithrombotic therapy

  • Evaluation for eligibility, bone and mineral metabolism disorders

  • Evaluation for eligibility, dental/periodontal diseases

  • Evaluation for eligibility, psychiatric disorders

Diagnostic procedures

Donor kidney biopsy: as per EAU 2024 guidelines, Do not base decisions on the acceptance of a donor organ on histological findings alone, since this might lead to an unnecessary high rate of discarded grafts. Interpret histology in context with clinical parameters of donor and recipient including perfusion parameters where available.
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Medical management

Immunosuppressive therapy, indications: as per EAU 2024 guidelines, Administer initial rejection prophylaxis with a combination of a calcineurin inhibitor (preferably tacrolimus), mycophenolate, corticosteroids, and an induction agent (either basiliximab or antithymocyte globulin).
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  • Immunosuppressive therapy (assessment of adherence)

  • Management of antithrombotics

Therapeutic procedures

Donor kidney preservation: as per EAU 2024 guidelines, Use either the University of Wisconsin or histidine tryptophane ketoglutarate preservation solutions for cold storage. Use the Celsior or Marshall's solution for cold storage if the University of Wisconsin or histidine tryptophane ketoglutarate solutions are not available.
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Perioperative care

Pre-transplant donor kidney assessment
As per EAU 2024 guidelines:
Assess the utility (including inspection) of the kidney for transplantation before initiating immunosuppression and inducing anesthesia for deceased donor kidney transplantation.
Do not discard a kidney for potential transplantation based on a small renal mass alone.

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  • Preoperative hemodialysis

  • Perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis

  • Perioperative fluid management

  • Postoperative kidney protection

  • Postoperative thromboprophylaxis

Surgical interventions

Indications for preemptive transplantation: as per KDIGO 2024 guidelines, Consider planning for preemptive kidney transplantation and/or dialysis access in adult patients with a GFR < 15-20 mL/min/1.73 m² or when the risk of RRT is > 40% over 2 years.

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  • Surgical considerations for transplantation

  • Living donor nephrectomy

Specific circumstances

Pediatric patients: as per KDIGO 2024 guidelines, Offer living or deceased donor preemptive kidney transplantation as the treatment of choice in pediatric patients with progressive and irreversible CKD (eGFR usually at 5-15 mL/min/1.73 m²).

Preventative measures

Immunizations: as per KDIGO 2020 guidelines, Administer vaccination series using an accelerated schedule, if necessary, before kidney transplantation for any inactivated vaccines.
Avoid excluding candidates not completed an inactivated vaccine series from kidney transplantation.
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Follow-up and surveillance

Monitoring of living donors: as per EAU 2024 guidelines, Obtain long-term follow-up in all living kidney donors.

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  • Monitoring for acute rejection

  • Monitoring for post-transplant complications

  • Management of acute rejection

  • Management of post-transplant complications (graft thrombosis)

  • Management of post-transplant complications (graft arterial stenosis)

  • Management of post-transplant complications (arteriovenous fistulae and pseudoaneurysms)

  • Management of post-transplant complications (lymphocele)

  • Management of post-transplant complications (urinary leak)

  • Management of post-transplant complications (ureteral stenosis)

  • Management of post-transplant complications (vesicoureteral reflux)

  • Management of hypertension in transplant recipients

  • Management of nephrolithiasis in transplant recipients

  • Management of prostate cancer in transplant recipients