As a transplant nephrologist myself, one session I particularly enjoyed in the NKF was “Controversies in Kidney Transplantation.” Three experienced speakers showcased their knowledge on difficult topics and captivated both the general nephrology and transplant audience. Here is a brief recap of one of the 3 talks.
Transplant in the Elderly – When is Old too Old?
Basically never. In his talk Dr. Emilio Poggio discusses several papers – all which show the benefit of kidney transplantation over dialysis. Although the best studies include a wide range of ages, papers looking at the elderly population do exist. The very old – esp. over the age of 80 – have a higher risk of dying compared to a younger transplant population; however, most studies show at least some increase in life expectancy. In addition, there is no data to suggest that the elderly will live longer on dialysis. Quality of life also seemed to be improved in one study. The end result is if a patient is elderly but healthy, they should be offered transplantation.
Post written by Dr. Vinay Nair, eAJKD Advisory Board member.
Check out more eAJKD coverage of the NKF’s 2013 Spring Clinical Meetings!