The functional capacity of each kidney of a healthy donor may change under the influence of genetic and environmental factors. An assumption that the donor kidneys show equal function is not always true. As part of the pre-nephrectomy evaluation of potential donors, radioisotope renal scintigraphy using technetium-99m diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (99mTcDTPA) was routinely included to evaluate renal functional asymmetry of undetermined etiology. The functional ratios of each kidney using 99mTcDTPA as well as serum creatinine (Scr) and creatinine clearance (Ccr) in a 24-hour urine were measured and calculated from a hundred donors. The left kidneys showed greater function (51.67%-53.35% under 95% confidence interval [CI]) and the average left versus right ratio was 52.5 versus 47.5. The average fraction of Ccr of left kidneys was 57.8 mL/min/1.73 m +/- 10.99 compared with right kidneys at 52.6 mL/min/1.73 m +/- 11.63. Seventy-three healthy volunteers donated their left kidneys, and 27, their right kidney. The average fraction of Ccr of the donated kidneys was 55.9 mL/min/1.73 m +/- 11.78 compared with that of the remnant kidneys (54.5 mL/min/1.73 m +/- 11.39). After kidney donation, the Scr of the donors increased from 0.85 mg/dL +/- 0.17 to 1.33 mg/dL +/- 0.27. The average postnephrectomy Ccr was 68.0 mL/min/1.73 m +/- 14.29. Even though the Ccr after kidney donation was higher than that of the remnant kidney estimated before the donation, one must pay attention to possible functional kidney asymmetry to select the nephrectomy site.
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