Compatible and Incompatible Blood Types in Kidney Transplant

Compatible and Incompatible Blood Types in Kidney Transplant

Our body has the ability to differentiate between self and foreign. Thus, compatibility between a donor and recipient is crucial for a successful kidney transplant. One of the critical tests for determining compatibility is a blood typing (ABO compatibility) test.
Read on to know more about it…

What is a Blood Typing (ABO Compatibility) Test?

This test is used to ascertain if your blood is compatible with that of the prospective donor. It measures antibodies in the blood that can react with the different blood groups. If the donor and your blood group are compatible, then the donor will be asked to proceed further and undergo a tissue typing test. The Rh factor(+ or – ) is not taken into consideration. If the blood typing test is not performed to confirm compatibility then there is a high chance that the transplanted kidney will be rejected.

The various blood types are A, O, AB, and B. You can refer to the following chart to see which blood types are compatible.

Recipient Blood Type Compatible Donor Blood Type
A A or O
B B or O
AB A or B or AB or O

ABO Incompatible Kidney Transplant

A patient and donor are said to be ABO incompatible if they do not have compatible blood types. ABO incompatibility can lead to the rejection of the transplanted kidney.

Over the years, the demand for kidney transplants has far exceeded the availability of donors. Due to this, several different options for a kidney transplant have gained traction.

Advancements in science have led to the possibility of performing an ABO-incompatible kidney transplant between living donors and some recipients.

It is important that you choose a well-established and internationally accredited hospital for your kidney transplant. Additionally, well-trained kidney transplant surgeons and nephrologists would also ensure high- success rate of your transplant surgery.

If you are going for an incompatible ABO kidney transplant then you will receive medical treatment right before and after the procedure. This is done to lower the antibody levels in your blood. Thus, reducing the probability of your body rejecting the donor’s kidney. The procedure can be divided into the following steps:

  • The first step is called desensitization. In this, a process called plasmapheresis is used to remove the existing antibodies from the blood. The procedure is similar to dialysis.
  • In the next step, intravenous immunoglobulin which is a blood product consisting of antibodies of several healthy people will be injected into your body to protect you from infections.

This procedure usually takes about 2-3 weeks. Once your antibody levels are acceptable, then a kidney transplant can be done. Your donor doesn’t require any special treatments for this type of transplant and can proceed as normal.

Your antibody levels will be monitored post-transplant. You may be given medicines to protect your new kidney. After two weeks of the transplant, your treatment regimes and medications are the same as that of patients who received ABO-compatible kidney transplants.

Avail Kidney Transplantation Across the World

Kidney Transplants in Different Countries Starting Treatment Cost in USD
Kidney Transplant in India $14,500
Kidney Transplant in Turkey $18360
Kidney Transplant in UAE $54240
Kidney Transplant in South Kore $81000
Kidney Transplant in Israel $160000


Blood matching is a critical step before a kidney transplant. It ensures the suitability of your donor for transplantation. However, if you are unable to find compatible donors, then there’s no harm in exploring other options like the ABO incompatible kidney transplant. Talk to your nephrologist and transplant surgeon to discuss all possible options for your kidney transplant.


Last modified on blank at Nov 24, 2022

Reviewed By :- Guneet Bhatia

Urvi Agrawal

Urvi is an avid reader who is passionate about writing. Having worked in hospital settings like AIIMS, She has experience working as a healthcare writer and has written about many healthcare and medical topics. Besides her role as a content specialist, she likes to spend her time cooking, dancing, and painting. She believes that positive thinking is crucial for being happy.

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