A number of recent studies of long-term kidney donors have reviewed glomerular function and blood pressure. Little attention has been paid to the potentially damaging effects of compensatory hyperfiltration on renal tubular cells after donor nephrectomy. The urinary excretion of high-molecular-weight enzymes is a sensitive indicator of renal tubular cell damage. This study compares the urinary excretion of four enzymes (alanine aminopeptidase, alkaline phosphatase, N-acetyl-β- D-glucosaminidase, and lactate dehydrogenase) in a group of 77 subjects who had undergone unilateral nephrectomy up to 21 years previously with 52 healthy non-nephrectomized controls. The urinary excretion for all four enzymes by the remaining kidney after contralateral nephrectomy in the kidney donors was significantly greater than the enzyme excretion per single kidney in the control group (p < 0.001). No correlation was found between the degree of enzymuria and either glomerular filtration rate or time since nephrectomy. The elevated activity of urinary enzymes in kidney donors may be related to increased metabolism by the renal tubular cells after contralateral nephrectomy. This study suggests that long-term compensatory hyperfiltration does not damage tubular cells, at least over this time scale.