Please note that we are seeing high patient volumes in the emergency department. Learn more >>.

Know before you go to the ER
Select the search type
  • Site
  • Web

Incompatible Donor Kidney Transplant

At the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center, our transplant specialists explore every opportunity to provide patients with a kidney from a living donor. When a transplant recipient doesn’t have the same blood or tissue type as their potential donor, our specialists may consider an incompatible-donor kidney transplant. 

Our doctors’ extensive experience and deep knowledge of the science behind donor matching allow us to successfully perform this innovative procedure. As a result, more patients are able to experience the many benefits of living kidney transplantation. 

Incompatible-Donor Kidney Transplant: What You Need to Know

You may know someone who wants to donate a kidney to you, but their tissue type or blood type doesn’t match yours. Many transplant centers would require you to find another donor, but we offer innovative programs to accommodate patients in this situation. 

  • What are incompatible-donor kidney transplants? Transplantation can be more straightforward when the donor and recipient have matching blood and tissue types. However, incompatible-donor kidney transplant is an innovative way that we increase the number of kidneys available from living donors. We offer:
    • Blood-type-incompatible or ABO-incompatible (ABOi) transplant: Transplant recipients undergo a “desensitization” procedure before or after the transplant. This combination of medications and plasmapheresis treatments (where we replace the plasma in their blood with new plasma) helps transplants succeed despite the incompatible blood types.
  • Why are incompatible-donor kidney transplants important? The number of people waiting for a kidney transplant is much higher than the number of deceased kidneys available every year. For some people with kidney failure, the average waiting time for a deceased donor kidney (three to four years) is longer than their life expectancy on dialysis. Incompatible-donor kidney transplant has the potential to help solve this problem.
  • What are the main benefits of incompatible-donor transplant? When patients undergo an incompatible-donor kidney transplant at our Transplant Center, they benefit from:
    • Shorter transplant process: By using this innovative transplant approach, we can decrease a patient’s wait time for a kidney transplant.
    • Identical transplant outcomes: Our ABOi transplants are extremely successful, with identical outcomes to living kidney transplants where donor and recipient have the same blood type. 

Contact Us

For more information about the kidney transplant program at the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center, call 855.925.0631.