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Kidney Diseases

Can Kidney Donors Have Cortical Cysts?



During an ultrasound a small cortical cyst measuring 21.5x17.1x19.3 was found on left kidney. Would this completely eliminate my chances of donating one of my kidneys to my wife? If it is a simple cyst, will it stay that way, or is there a chance of it turning into a complex cyst? I am going to have blood drawn for our tissue match.


Simple cysts are quite common in normal adults and, in most cases, are not considered to be a contraindication to kidney donation. It will be important for the surgeon performing the donor nephrectomy to review the imaging studies before proceeding. Truly simple cysts of this size, presuming that the dimensions were in millimeters, rarely transform into complex cysts.

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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