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Living donor transplant

How could I get a transplant sooner?

There are different kinds of donated kidneys – some with shorter wait times. It will be your job to choose which of these kidneys you’re willing to take – being open to more than 1 kind may make your wait shorter. Each donated kidney has a KDPI (Kidney Donor Profile Index) score. This is a score from 0-100. The score measures how long the kidney is likely to work. A lower KDPI is better.

KDPI is based on the donor’s:

  • Age
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Ethnicity
  • Cause of death
  • Medical history, including:
    • Hepatitis C
    • High blood pressure
    • Diabetes
    • Protein levels



A low KDPI (under 20) means the kidney is from a donor who was younger and healthier when they died. A kidney with a KDPI score of 20 means it is likely to work longer than most (80%) of other donor kidneys. These kidneys typically last 10-15 years.

It may take a long time to get a low KDPI kidney, or you may not get one at all, depending on your place on the wait list.



A standard criteria kidney has a score of 20-85. These kidneys typically last 10-15 years.



A high KDPI (over 85) means the donor was older or sicker when they died. These kidneys typically last 7-10 years. They are also called ECD (extended donor criteria) kidneys.

Your transplant center will need your written consent to transplant a kidney with a KDPI of more than 85. A higher KDPI may help you get a kidney sooner.

Other types of kidneys

Public Health Service (PHS) kidney

PHS kidneys come from a donor who had a higher chance of having HIV or other blood diseases, such as Hepatitis C, and usually last 10-15 years. PHS kidneys have a slightly higher chance of an infection.

Living donor kidney

A living donor kidney comes from a living person who donates 1 of their kidneys to you. They usually last 15-20 years.

Why would someone choose a high KDPI or a PHS kidney?

icon for kidney transplant from live donor

Sometimes these kidneys are a good fit, such as if a patient has a lot of problems from dialysis or is old enough that they don’t need the kidney to last for 20 years. These kidneys can work well and may allow you to get a transplant faster, but may have effects on your health. Speak with your transplant team to help you decide what’s best for you.

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