Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation

: 2011  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1294--1303

Organ transplantation in Saudi Arabia


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. Organ transplantation in Saudi Arabia.Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl 2011;22:1294-1303

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. Organ transplantation in Saudi Arabia. Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl [serial online] 2011 [cited 2021 Jul 26 ];22:1294-1303
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By the end of year 2010, a total of 4421 living donor and 2227 deceased donor renal transplantations have been performed inside the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is worth mentioning that the deceased organ transplantation program in the Kingdom received a big boost with the inception of the National Kidney Foundation in 1984 and further in 1993 when this organization was upgraded and renamed as Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation (SCOT).

A total of 505 kidneys have been transplanted during the year 2010, of which 349 were from living related donors and 156 from deceased donors. Among the 156 deceased kidneys, 21 were used for pediatric recipients and 11 were given for the urgent condition recipients.

Liver transplantation program in the Kingdom was started in the year 1990. By the end of 2010, a total of 930 liver transplants have been performed, 572 from deceased donors and 358 from living donors (the later includes pediatric liver transplant operations performed at Riyadh Armed Forces Hospital and adult transplant operations performed at King Faisal Specialist Hospital-Riyadh and King Fahd National Guard Hospital - Riyadh). In this year, there were 40 liver transplants from living donors and 62 from deceased donors.

During the period (1986- 2010), there were 187 whole hearts and 517 hearts as source of valves transplantations done inside the Kingdom. In this year alone, 19 whole hearts and 20 hearts as sources for valves have been transplanted.

Although more than 19,000 corneal transplants have been performed in the Kingdom during the period 1983-2010, the number of transplants from locally harvested corneas is dismally low (632 corneas).

A total of 18 pancreases were transplanted since the inception of the program in 1990. In this year 2 pancreas transplant operations were performed, each in a combined kidney-pancreas operation. Lung transplantation activity (started in 1990), has a total of 51 lungs transplanted to 36 recipients as single or bilateral.

Bone transplantation program, started in 2009, has promising results. In this year 29 bones were harvested in addition to 3 musculoskeletal tissues.

As for organ sharing program with Kuwait, Spain, Qatar and the Kingdom of Bahrain, SCOT has benefited from a total of 47 kidneys, 81 livers, 7 whole hearts, 40 hearts for valves and 3 lungs since the inception of the program with these countries.

 Renal Transplantation - 2010

During this year, 505 kidneys were being transplanted inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 349 from living donors and 156 from deceased donors. The following table shows the performance of the national transplant centers during the year 2010.


Six kidney were harvested but not transplanted this year for medical or reasons.Cold Ischemic Time (CIT) for the locally harvested deceased kidneys was ranging between one hour and a half to 40 hours. On the other hand, matching sex (male to male or female to female) renal transplantation from deceased donors was done in 58% of the cases.Age distribution for recipients and donors of the deceased kidneys is indicated in the following table.


According to the data of renal failure patients in the Kingdom, 233 patients underwent living renal transplant operations outside the kingdom during the year 2010.

 Liver Transplant - 2010

A total 106 brain death cases were consented for liver donation this year. Harvesting was taken place in 68 cases, however only 62 livers were transplanted; 26 at King Abdul-Aziz Medical City - Riyadh and 31 at King Faisal Specialist Hospital- Riyadh and 5 at King Fahd Specialist Hospital-Dammam. Livers were not used in 44 cases for following reasons:

Livers were consented but not harvested in (33) cases: Technical problem in Medivac (weather conditions) (6) casesSudden cardiac arrest of donor (7) casesHomodynamic instability of donor (1) caseElevated liver enzymes (9) casesHypernatremia (3) casesBiopsy result positive (2) cases.High inotropes (1) caseUnfit (1) caseHypertension & diabetes (2) casesTuberculosis (1) caseLivers were rejected by transplant centers during harvesting, on macroscopic evaluation, in (5) cases because of polycystic organs and microstenosis.Livers were rejected by transplant centers after harvesting in (6) cases: Fatty livers (4) casesAtherosclerosis (1) case.Grossly edematous (1) case.

Liver Transplant from Living Donors - 2010

Forty cases of liver transplantation were done from living donors this year, 17 at Riyadh Armed Forces Hospital, 15 at King Faisal Specialist Hospital-Riyadh, 7 at King Abdul Aziz Medical City (NGH -Riyadh) and one at King Fahd Specialist Hospital-Dammam. Details are shown in the tables below:





 Heart Transplantation - 2010

A total of ninety three (93) consents were obtained for heart donation this year (81% of total consented cases). Nineteen (19) Whole hearts were harvested and transplanted at King Faisal Specialist Hospital-Riyadh, in addition to twenty (20) hearts harvested to be used as sources for valves; all were given to King Faisal Specialist Hospital- Riyadh.

Fifty four (54) hearts were consented for donation but not harvested for the following reasons:

Unfit donor for medical reasons (sepsis, donor history, medical condition) (38) casesTechnical reasons (transportation and logistics) (2) casesSudden cardiac arrest of donor before harvesting (5) casesHepatitis serology positive (1) caseNo suitable recipients (4) cases,Old age of donor (1) caseNot offered hearts (time limitation) (3) cases.


 Lungs Transplantation - 2010

Nineteen (19) lung transplant operations were done this year. The following table shows the lung transplantation activity for the last years.


 Pancreas Transplantation - 2010

Two (2) harvested pancreas were successfully transplanted this year at King Fahd Specialist Hospital - Dammam each in a combined kidney - pancreas operation.

It is also worth mentioning that the first pancreas operation in the Kingdom was done in 1990, followed by two combined pancreas-kidney operations in 1991. Another combined operation was also done in 1992 at Al-Shati Hospital in collaboration with King Abdul-Aziz Hospital - Jeddah.

 Bone Transplantation - 2010

Bone donation from deceased donors started in the year 2009 at King Faisal Specialist Hospital -Riyadh. Harvesting of bones is done in the same multi-organ retrieval process from the eligible deceased donors.

In the year 2010, eleven (11) consents were obtained for bone donation (10% of total consented cases). 29 types of bones were retrieved in addition to 3 musculoskeletal tissues.

The table below illustrates the number and type of bone harvested during the period (2009- 2010).


 Cornea Transplantation - 2010

Corneal donation program (as a tissue) is currently harvested along with multi- organ retrieval from actual deceased organ donors.

In the year 2010, consent for corneal donation was obtained in 43 eligible deceased organ donors (37%) of total consented cases. (24) Cases were harvested while the remaining (19) were not harvested for the following reasons: hepatitis serology (HCV, HBsAg, HBcAb) (4) cases, pseudomonas infection (1) case and (14) cases due to technical reasons.

Organ Transplantation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Organ Transplantation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Organ Transplantation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia