Single-kidney glomerular filtration rate (GFR) increases after living kidney donation due to compensatory hyperfiltration and structural changes. The implications of inter-individual variability in this increase in single-kidney GFR are unknown. Here, we aimed to identify determinants of the increase in single-kidney GFR at three-month post-donation, and to investigate its relationship with long-term kidney function. In a cohort study in 1024 donors, we found considerable inter-individual variability of the early increase in remaining single-kidney estimated GFR (eGFR) (median [25th-75th percentile]) 12 [8-18] mL/min/1.73m2. Pre-donation eGFR, age, and cortical kidney volume measured by CT were the main determinants of the early post-donation increase in single-kidney eGFR. Individuals with a stronger early increase in single-kidney eGFR had a significantly higher five-year post-donation eGFR, independent of pre-donation eGFR and age. Addition of the post-donation increase in single-kidney eGFR to a model including pre-donation eGFR and age significantly improved prediction of a five-year post-donation eGFR under 50 mL/min/1.73m2. Results at ten-year follow-up were comparable, while accounting for left-right differences in kidney volume did not materially change the results. Internal validation using 125I-iothalamate-based measured GFR in 529 donors and external validation using eGFR data in 647 donors yielded highly similar results. Thus, individuals with a more pronounced increase in single-kidney GFR had better long-term kidney function, independent of pre-donation GFR and age. Hence, the early post-donation increase in single-kidney GFR, considered indicative for kidney reserve capacity, may have additional value to eGFR and age to personalize follow-up intensity after living kidney donation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1251-1259
Number of pages9
JournalKidney International
Early online date25-Feb-2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2022

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