Variability in donor organ offer acceptance and lung transplantation survival.
BACKGROUND: Lung transplantation offers a survival benefit for patients with end-stage lung disease. When suitable donors are identified, centers must accept or decline the offer for a matched candidate on their waitlist. The degree to which variability in per-center offer acceptance practices impacts candidate survival is not established. The purpose of this study was to determine the degree of variability in per-center rates of lung transplantation offer acceptance and to ascertain the associated contribution to observed differences in per-center waitlist mortality. METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study of candidates waitlisted for lung transplantation in the US using registry data. Logistic regression was fit to assess the relationship of offer acceptance with donor, candidate, and geographic factors. Listing center was evaluated as a fixed effect to determine the adjusted per-center acceptance rate. Competing risks analysis employing the Fine-Gray model was undertaken to establish the relationship between adjusted per-center acceptance and waitlist mortality. RESULTS: Of 15,847 unique organ offers, 4,735 (29.9%) were accepted for first-ranked candidates. After adjustment for important covariates, transplant centers varied markedly in acceptance rate (9%-67%). Higher cumulative incidence of 1-year waitlist mortality was associated with lower acceptance rate. For every 10% increase in adjusted center acceptance rate, the risk of waitlist mortality decreased by 36.3% (sub-distribution hazard ratio 0.637; 95% confidence interval 0.592-0.685). CONCLUSIONS: Variability in center-level behavior represents a modifiable risk factor for waitlist mortality in lung transplantation. Further intervention is needed to standardize center-level offer acceptance practices and minimize waitlist mortality.
Mulvihill, MS; Lee, HJ; Weber, J; Choi, AY; Cox, ML; Yerokun, BA; Bishawi, MA; Klapper, J; Kuchibhatla, M; Hartwig, MG
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