Conditions that May Necessitate a Kidney Transplant at Tampa General Hospital
A kidney transplant may be recommended as a treatment for several conditions, including various forms of acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease. However, these diagnoses do not automatically necessitate a transplant; a patient should be experiencing end stage renal disease, or kidney failure, to be referred to a transplant center for further evaluation. Some common conditions that can lead to a kidney transplant include:
Diabetes mellitus – With diabetes, high blood sugar can force the kidneys to filter too much blood. The increased filtration demands place a high amount of stress on the kidneys, and they may lose their ability to properly filter the blood. Waste products start to build up in the bloodstream, and the kidneys may eventually fail.
High blood pressure – When a person has high blood pressure, the blood vessels in their kidney will stretch out to accommodate the increased pressure. This can lead to permanent blood vessel damage, which in turn can prevent the kidneys from adequately removing waste and fluid from the blood. This is considered a form of renal failure, and is often connected with diabetes.
Polycystic kidney disease – Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic condition in which fluid-filled cysts form on one or both kidneys. Although the cysts can be removed, they often recur with high frequency, and can ultimately cause the kidneys to stop working.
Glomerulonephritis – With glomerulonephritis, the tiny filters inside the kidney become chronically inflamed. This can occur on its own, or it can be a complication of another condition, such as lupus. Regardless of the origin, the prolonged inflammation can eventually cause the kidneys to fail.
Urinary tract conditions – Several different urinary tract conditions, such as pyelonephritis, can also require a kidney transplant.
Patients with any of the above conditions will often be treated with more conservative measures first. However, renal failure can cause complications such as increased levels of fluid, acid, and potassium; decreased levels of calcium; anemia; poor bone health; and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In some cases, these complications can only be reversed by a transplant.
At Tampa General Hospital, we can evaluate patients with a number of conditions to determine whether a kidney transplant would be the most appropriate course of action. Our kidney transplant program performs living and deceased donor transplants for patients facing renal failure and other conditions, and our center is ranked #3 in the nation by volume, making us one of the busiest kidney transplant centers in the country. Patients potentially requiring a kidney transplant must be referred to Tampa General Hospital. A physician must complete a referral form for a patient to be considered for transplant evaluation.