Kantonsspital St.Gallen

Retransplanting a previously transplanted kidney: A safe strategy in times of organ shortage?

Hristos Karakizlis, Marieke Van Rosmalen, Philipp Boide, Ingolf Askevold, Serge Vogelaar, Thomas Lorf, Gabrielle Berlakovich, Martin Nitschke, Winfried Padberg & Rolf Weimer


The shortage of organs for transplantation remains a global problem. The retransplantation of a previously transplanted kidney might be a possibility to expand the pool of donors. We provide our experience with the successful reuse of transplanted kidneys in the Eurotransplant region.

A query in the Eurotransplant database was performed between January 1, 1995 and December 31, 2015, to find kidney donors who themselves had previously received a kidney graft.

Nine out of a total of 68,554 allocated kidneys had previously been transplanted. Four of these kidneys were transplanted once again. The mean interval between the first transplant and retransplantation was 1689±1682 days (SD; range 55-5,333 days). At the time of the first transplantation the mean serum creatinine of the donors was 1.0 mg/dl (.6-1.3 mg/dl) and at the second transplantation 1.4 mg/dl (.8-1.5 mg/dl). The mean graft survival in the first recipient was 50 months (2-110 months) and in the second recipient 111 months (40-215 months).

Transplantation of a previously transplanted kidney may successfully be performed with well-preserved graft function and long-term graft survival, even if the first transplantation was performed a long time ago. Such organs should be considered even for younger recipients in carefully selected cases.
citation Karakizlis H, Van Rosmalen M, Boide P, Askevold I, Vogelaar S, Lorf T, Berlakovich G, Nitschke M, Padberg W, Weimer R. Retransplanting a previously transplanted kidney: A safe strategy in times of organ shortage?. Clin Transplant 2021;e14554.
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 04-12-2021
journal title Clin Transplant
ISSN electronic 1399-0012
pages e14554
PubMed 34862985
DOI 10.1111/ctr.14554