Long-term renal function in living kidney donors with simple renal cysts: A retrospective cohort study

Madeleine M. Waldram, Alvin G. Thomas, Yifan Yu, Courtenay M. Holscher, Anh Q. Nguyen, Samantha E. Halpern, Shane Ottman, Abimereki D. Muzaale, Macey L. Henderson, Krista L. Lentine, Fawaz Al Ammary, Daniel C. Brennan, Jacqueline M. Garonzik-Wang, Dorry L. Segev, Allan B. Massie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Simple (Bosniak I) renal cysts are considered acceptable in living kidney donor selection in terms of cancer risk. However, they tend to increase in number and size over time and might compromise renal function in donors. To clarify their implications for long-term renal function, we characterized the prevalence of renal cysts in 454 individuals who donated at our center from 2000 to 2007. We estimated the association between the presence of cysts in the kidney remaining after nephrectomy (ie, retained cysts) and postdonation eGFR trajectory using mixed-effects linear regression. Donors with retained cysts (N = 86) were older (P <.001) and had slightly lower predonation eGFR (median 94 vs 98 mL/min/1.73 m2, P <.01) than those without cysts. Over a median 7.8 years, donors with retained cysts had lower baseline eGFR (−8.7 −5.6 −2.3 mL/min/1.73 m2, P <.01) but similar yearly change in eGFR (−0.4 0.02 0.4 mL/min/1.73 m2, P =.2) compared to those without retained cysts. Adjusting for predonation characteristics, there was no difference in baseline eGFR (P =.6) or yearly change in eGFR (P >.9). There continued to be no evidence of an association when we considered retained cyst(s) ≥10 mm or multiple retained cysts (all P >.05). These findings reaffirm current practices of accepting candidates with simple renal cysts for donor nephrectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13905
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • donors and donation
  • glomerular filtration rate
  • living
  • renal cyst
  • renal function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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