Elderly patients with end-stage renal disease often remain on dialytic therapy because they are at increased risk for mortality and morbidity. We placed 24 cadaver kidney transplants into 24 patients aged 65-74 years between September 1, 1985, and August 31, 1995. Rates of patient and graft survival were compared with those of 404 concurrent first cadaver-kidney transplant recipients between the ages of 20 and 44 years. The 5-year rates of patient and graft survival were not significantly different (86% versus 92% and 77% versus 63%, respectively; study group presented first). Primary cadaver kidney transplantation can be successfully performed in patients older than 65 years when a selection algorithm is applied to exclude active infection, active malignancy, unsuitable anatomy for technical success, high probability of operative mortality, and noncompliance. Pelvic arteriosclerosis and lower urinary tract abnormalities can cause intraoperative technical problems.
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