TransplantCARE Homepage » Health Plan » Tools/Resources » Quick Reference Guide » Kidney Transplant » Indications for Transplant

Indications for Transplant

                                                                                Kidney Transplantation: Version 7.0

Indications for Kidney Transplantation

There is really only one indication for kidney transplantation: life threatening end-stage renal disease where the probability of survival is improved with transplantation compared to other methods of treatment, principally dialysis. An important note is that there is good evidence in nephrology that the majority of patients with progressive renal failure are referred to transplant centers at a late stage of disease. This minimizes the opportunity for the life-saving and economic benefits accruing from transplantation.  

The American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) has published a comprehensive set of guidelines  that describe the selection criteria for kidney transplant recipients.  We recommend that the reader refer to this publication, which can be found for a detailed explanation of the various contraindications and other considerations for selecting appropriate transplant candidates.

As with many organ transplant programs, different teams will have different ways of managing patients with some of the listed relative contraindications, based upon their particular experience and research interests.  In particular, there are a number of centers in the US that will consider patients who are HIV positive for kidney transplant.  We recommend that our clients’ case managers and referring physicians contact the appropriate INTERLINK Health Services Transplant Network centers to discuss potential referrals that may have one or more of the relative contraindications.