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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 kidney transplant referral form 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
kidney and pancreas referral form buttonThere 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.