About the Program

Many patients in need of a kidney transplant find potential donors but later discover they are incompatible. Although the potential donors are willing to help, the risk of organ rejection is high.

Unfortunately, this situation is not uncommon; it occurs to approximately one-third of patients who come forward with potential living donors.

Patients can turn to treatment options that try to overcome those incompatibilities, but a better option is often available: “exchanging” donors with someone else who needs a kidney but also has an incompatible donor.

Kidney Paired Donation (KPD) facilitates these exchanges by connecting patients and their incompatible donors to other mismatched pairs. The donors in each pair effectively “switch places” with each other, increasing the chances of a favorable match and allowing a transplant to take place.

Compatible donor and recipient pairs can also participate in KPD programs. Although these pairs are a compatible “match” in the traditional sense — i.e. they are blood type compatible and the recipient does not have immune system reactivity against the donor — these pairs may have an age discrepancy or may be seeking a better-matched kidney.

Weill Cornell Medicine, in partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian, is a founding member center of the National Kidney Registry, which helps connect recipients and living donors as quickly and easily as possible. In fact, the registry was founded by the father of one of our young transplant candidates. Since 2008, we have performed more than 200 kidney paired donation transplants by working with the National Kidney Registry.

Learn more about Kidney Paired Donation below.