The following are examples of some of the tests you may be asked to complete as part of the evaluation for becoming a living kidney donor:

1. Blood Tests: to check blood type compatibility between you and the transplant candidate.

  • Blood Type Compatibility Chart
Donor’s Blood Type Transplant Candidate’s Blood Type
O O
A or O A
B or O B
A, B, AB, or O AB

The Rh factor (+ or -) in blood type is not important in compatibility.

  • Tissue Typing: This blood test checks the tissue match between six codes on the transplant candidate’s and your white blood cells. (Six out of six is a perfect match.)
  • Crossmatching: determines how the transplant candidate will react to your kidney. A “positive” crossmatch means your organ is incompatible with the candidate. A “negative” crossmatch means that your kidney is compatible with the candidate.
  • Antibody Screen: When a foreign substance (antigen) enters a person’s body, a protein substance (antibody) is created in response to that antigen. Results of this test will determine if the transplant candidate has antibodies in his or her body that would react to your antigens.
  • Blood tests to screen for transmissible disease: These tests determine whether you have HIV, hepatitis, cancer, and other transmissible diseases.

2. Urine Tests: A 24-hour urine sample is collected to examine your kidney function.

3. Chest X-Ray and Electrocardiogram (EKG): These tests screen for heart and lung disease. Depending upon your age and medical history, further testing may be needed.

4. Radiologic Testing: These tests allow physicians to view your kidneys, including their blood supply. Tests can include a CAT scan, MRI, and arteriogram.

5. Psychosocial and/or psychological evaluation: This tool assess your mental health, whether you feel pressure from others to donate, your ability to understand information and make an informed decision, and your daily life circumstances.

6. Gynecological screening: Female donors receive a gynecological examination.

7. Cancer screening: Tests may include a colonoscopy, mammogram, prostate exam, and skin cancer screening.

The transplant team will determine your individual needs.

Source: UNOS booklet “Living Donation: Information You Need to Know.”

 

Becoming a Living Donor