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In their paper, published in the American Journal of Nephrology , Abu Jawdeh and his colleagues report their experience applying APOL1 genotyping and using it to identify high-risk donor candidates, therefore bypassing them for donation. As a result of their research, they propose a protocol for systematic APOL1 genotyping in all potential African American donors.
According to Abu Jawdeh, donating a kidney puts the donor at an extremely small yet relatively increased risk of kidney disease.
"In the overall population of healthy individuals, the risk of having advanced kidney disease over the years is somewhere in the range of 3 to 5 in 10,000," says Abu Jawdeh. "For those who donate kidneys, their absolute risk -- although still very, very small -- will increase."
He says the reason for this small increase in kidney disease incidence is a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Abu Jawdeh also emphasizes that organ donors are volunteering precious organs so steps need to be taken to ensure their generous act doesn't negatively impact their own lives.
"As transplant specialists, it is our responsibility to find ways to optimize the health of donors, which includes protecting them from occurrence of kidney disease. By identifying high-risk genotype carriers, we are able to better counsel those who wish to donate," says Abu Jawdeh, who is also a UC Health physician. "We have even shown that universal APOL1 genotyping is likely cost-effective, however future larger studies are warranted to ascertain the favorable cost-benefit ratio of this approach." Source:
University of Cincinnati Journal reference:
Gudsoorkar, P., et al. (2020) APOL1 Genotyping in Potential African American Living Kidney Donors: Utility and Cost-Effectiveness. American Journal of Nephrology . doi.org/10.1159/000505719 .
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