August 1, 2006

Cardiac arrest victims make viable kidney donors

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who are transplanted
with a kidney from a victim of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
do very well, new research suggests.

In the United States, transplanted kidneys come from
"beating-heart" donors, who include living individuals and
those declared brain dead. Previous reports have shown
acceptable outcomes when using kidneys from in-hospital cardiac
arrest victims, but it was unclear if the same applied to
organs taken from out-of-hospital arrest victims.

To investigate, Dr. Ana I. Sanchez-Fructuoso, from Hospital
Clinico San Carlos in Madrid, and colleagues compared the
outcomes of 320 transplant patients who received a kidney from
a non-beating-heart donor and 584 who received a kidney from a
beating-heart donor, some of whom were older than 60 years of

The investigators report in the Annals of Internal Medicine
that the survival rates of the grafted organ at 1 year and 5
years for the non-beating-heart group were 87 percent and 82
percent, respectively. These rates were comparable to the
corresponding rates in the younger beating-heart group, 91
percent and 85 percent, but significantly better than the rates
in the older beating-heart group, 80 percent and 73 percent.

"Non-heart-beating donors are a viable potential source of
... kidneys for transplantation," the researchers conclude. "We
encourage transplant centers to consider the use of
non-heart-beating donors."

SOURCE: Annals of Internal Medicine, August 1, 2006.