Central nervous system tumors and organ donation: An update

Erik B. Finger, Sandy Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: To critically present the existing data on the risks of tumor transmission from organ donors with primary central nervous system tumors. This review summarizes published data on tumor transmission as evidenced by eight case reports, three institutional series, and four national or international registries/organ procurement agency databases. Recent findings: Several case reports, series and donor registries have documented that tumor transmission can occur, albeit rarely. Implicated risk factors include high-grade tumors, cerebrospinal fluid shunting, and a history of substantial neurosurgical procedure. Summary: Transmission of a central nervous system tumor occurs in 0-22.5% of transplanted organs depending upon the method of data capture. Risk factors have been identified which may identify donors who pose a higher transmission risk with organ transplantation. Many transplants, however, have been performed without tumor transmission, using organs from donors with one or more risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-150
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Organ Transplantation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006


  • Central nervous system tumor
  • Metastasis
  • Organ donation

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