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Living Anonymous Renal Donors Do Not Regret: Intermediate and Long-Term Follow-Up with a Focus on Motives and Psychosocial Outcomes

Jonas Wadström, Bengt von Zur-Mühlen, Annette Lennerling, Kerstin Westman, Lars Wennberg, Ingela Fehrman Ekholm

(Department of Transplantation Surgery, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, Sweden)

Ann Transplant 2019; 24:234-241

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.913827

BACKGROUND: Living anonymous donation (LAD) of kidneys was introduced in Sweden in 2004. This study reports on outcomes of Swedish LAD experiences from 2004 to 2016, focusing on donors’ motives, the care they received, psychosocial aspects, and medical status at follow-up.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Donor data were collected through a physician interview, medical check-up, review of medical charts, the Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS), and a routine national questionnaire. Of the 26 LADs during the study period, 1 donor died and 1 declined to participate, leaving a study population of 24.
RESULTS: Half of the donors were male, which is a higher proportion than for directed living donors. The major motive detected was altruism. Of the 24 LADs, 96% were very satisfied and would donate again if possible, 46% noted increased self-esteem, and a third were happier after the donation. Sixty-two percent received anonymous information about the recipient and 40% would have liked to meet the recipient. HADS scores were normal. Two donors had antidepressant treatment, 1 of whom had received treatment before donation. Half mentioned that the pre-donation assessment took too long. At follow-up, mean eGFR was 62±12 mL/min/1.73 m², of which 16 were in CKD II and 8 were in CKD III. Four donors had developed hypertension, 1 of whom also developed type 2 diabetes.
CONCLUSIONS: Swedish LADs are very satisfied and medical outcomes are acceptable. We propose that the transplant community and the National Board of Health and Welfare take a more active approach to informing the general public about LAD.

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