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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 postdonation, 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/1.73m(2). Predonation eGFR, age, and cortical kidney volume measured by CT were the main determinants of the early postdonation increase in single-kidney eGFR. Individuals with a stronger early increase in single-kidney eGFR had a significantly higher five-year postdonation eGFR, independent of predonation eGFR and age. Addition of the postdonation increase in single-kidney eGFR to a model including predonation eGFR and age significantly improved prediction of a five-year postdonation eGFR under 50 mL/min/1.73m(2). 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 1251-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 predonation GFR and age. Hence, the early postdonation 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
Issue number6
Early online date25-Feb-2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2022


  • glomerular filtration rate
  • living kidney donation
  • postdonation adaptation
  • postdonation outcomes
  • renal functional reserve
  • RISK
  • AGE

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