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Kidney Transplant Selection & Referral Criteria


The basic criteria for kidney transplant selection include the presence of irreversible kidney failure. Any adult or child who has been diagnosed with stage 5 chronic kidney disease (CKD) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) can be considered for transplant evaluation. In some cases, stage 4 CKD patients may also be candidates for evaluation. At Tampa General Hospital¡¯s Kidney Transplant Program, we address every patient individually, and begin by evaluating a completed submitted by a referring physician. In addition to using kidney transplant criteria to determine eligibility for a transplant, there are contraindications that can preclude a patient from being considered for transplant. Absolute contraindications include:

  • Active malignancy (cancer)
  • Active abuse of drugs, alcohol, or other substances
  • Severe cardiac and / or peripheral vascular disease that cannot be corrected, such as severe cardiomyopathy with an ejection fraction of less than 25 percent
  • Lack of insurance coverage or an inability to cover the expenses involved with a kidney transplant and the subsequent care
  • Inadequate support system of family, friends, or others to help provide care
  • Documented history of non-compliance with medical regimens or medications without reasonable justification
  • Severe pulmonary hypertension that cannot be controlled or treated
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) higher than 40
  • Active or uncontrolled psychiatric disorders
There are also relative contraindications that may exclude patients from consideration for a kidney transplant procedure in addition to the above contraindication criteria, depending on the particular patient and the degree of illness. They include:
  • Active or chronic untreated infections
  • History of malignancy within the past two to five years
  • Active immunologic disorders that could impact the transplanted graft
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • History of significant cardiac and / or peripheral vascular disease with active tobacco use
  • A urinary tract that isn¡¯t intact / functional and lacks a viable urine diversion
  • BMI between 35 and 40
  • Active Hepatitis B or C
  • Highly sensitized patients with high antibody levels and those patients nonresponsive to desensitization treatment

To learn more about Tampa General Hospital¡¯s kidney transplant selection and referral criteria and guidelines, contact us by calling 1-800-505-7769 (press 5 for the kidney transplant program and ask for the referral coordinator) or call the coordinator directly at (813) 844-8686. Our program is one of the busiest in the country, and we are ranked #3 in the nation by volume of kidney transplants performed.??