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Kidney Diseases

Can Kidney Transplant Recipients Have Sickle Cell Anemia?

07/26/2010

Question:

Can a sickle cell anemia patient have a kidney transplant?

Answer:

Yes, patients with sickle cell anemia can receive a kidney transplant but the outcomes are not as good as for other patients, especially because the incidence and severity of sickle crises tend to increase following transplantation. There is also a high rate of morbidity and mortality due to infection. Some centers are performing kidney transplantation only after bone marrow transplantation in an effort to eliminate the sickle cells, but this strategy is considered experimental.

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Response by:

Donald E Hricik, MD Donald E Hricik, MD
Professor of Medicine
Chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University