Impact on Waitlist Outcomes from Changes in the Medical Eligibility of Candidates for Simultaneous Liver-Kidney Transplantation Following Implementation of the 2017 Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing Policy in the United States

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Annals of transplantation


BACKGROUND: The new simultaneous liver-kidney transplantation (SLK) listing criteria in the United States was implemented in 2017. We aimed to investigate the impact on waitlist and post-transplantation outcomes from changes in the medical eligibility of candidates for SLK after policy implementation in the United States.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: We analyzed adult primary SLK candidates between January 2015 and March 2019 using the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network/United Network for Organ Sharing (OPTN/UNOS) registry. We compared waitlist practice, post-transplantation outcomes, and final transplant graft type in SLK candidates before and after the policy.

RESULTS: A total of 4641 patients were eligible, with 2975 and 1666 registered before and after the 2017 policy, respectively. The daily number of SLK candidates was lower after the 2017 policy (3.25 vs 2.89, P=0.01); 1956 received SLK and 95 received liver transplant alone (LTA). The proportion of patients who eventually received LTA was higher after the 2017 policy (7.9% vs 3.0%; P<0.001). The 1-year graft survival rate was worse in patients with LTA than in those with SLK (80.5% vs 90.4%; P=0.003). The adjusted risk of 1-year graft failure in patients with LTA was 2.01 (95% confidence interval 1.13-3.58, P=0.01) compared with patients with SLK among the SLK candidates.

CONCLUSIONS: Although the number of registrations for SLK increased, the number of SLK transplants decreased, and the number of liver transplants increased. LTA in this patient cohort was associated with worse post-transplantation outcomes.

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Transplant and Abdominal Surgery

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