Is it better to receive a cadaver or living donor kidney? What’s the difference?


About 88.3 percent of kidneys that are transplanted from cadavers (persons who died recently) were still functioning well at one year after surgery. The results are even better for kidneys transplanted from living donors. The selection process follows below:  

  • BLOOD TYPE: Your child’s blood type (A, B, AB, or O) must be compatible with the donor’s blood type.
  • HLA FACTORS: HLA stands for human leukocyte antigen, a genetic marker located on the surface of your white blood cells. A higher number of matching antigens increases the chances that your kidney will last for a long time.

If your child is selected on the basis of the first two factors, a third is evaluated:

  • ANTIBODIES: Your immune system may produce antibodies that act specifically against something in the donor’s tissues. To see whether this is the case, a small sample of your blood will be mixed with a small sample of the donor’s blood in a tube. If no reaction occurs, you should be able to accept the kidney.