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Is It Time to Utilize Genetic Testing for Living Kidney Donor Evaluation?

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Living donor kidney transplantation is an effective strategy to mitigate the challenges of solid organ shortage. However, being a living kidney donor is not without risk, as donors may encounter short- and long-term complications including the risk of developing chronic kidney disease, end-stage kidney disease, hypertension, and possible pregnancy-related complications. Although the evaluation of potential living donors is a thorough and meticulous process with the intention of decreasing the chance of complications, particularly in donors who have lifetime risk projection, risk factors for kidney disease including genetic predispositions may be missed because they are not routinely investigated. This type of testing may not be offered to patients due to variability and decreased penetrance of symptoms and lack of availability of appropriate genetic testing and genetic specialists. We report a case of a middle-aged woman with a history of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia who underwent an uneventful living kidney donation. She developed postdonation nonnephrotic range proteinuria and microscopic hematuria. Given the risk of biopsy with a solitary kidney, genetic testing was performed and revealed autosomal dominant Alport syndrome. Our case underscores the utility of genetic testing. Hopefully, future research will examine the incorporation of predonation genetic testing into living kidney donor evaluation.

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