ABO incompatible kidney transplants

Desensitization kidney transplants at UI Hospitals and Clinics

Approximately 1 in 3 donor and recipient pairs will have blood types that are not compatible for transplant. Some donor/recipient pairs with incompatible ABO blood types may still be eligible to undergo transplantation after the recipient receives extra treatments before and after the surgery to prevent rejection of the transplanted kidney. These extra treatments are called desensitization and the University of Iowa is the only program in the State offering this option.

ABO incompatible kidney transplants have outcomes that are nearly identical to blood type compatible transplants. Our ABO incompatible protocol may allow you another way to potentially receive a living donor kidney (in addition to the KPD program mentioned above) as opposed to having to wait on the deceased donor wait list. A live donor kidney is generally a better option if one is available for you. Our program has achieved 100 percent graft function for recipients who have participated in the ABO incompatible program to date.

Last reviewed: 
May 2017

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