The Impact of the 2017 Kidney Allocation Policy Change on Simultaneous Liver-Kidney Utilization and Outcomes.
Historically in the United States, kidneys for simultaneous liver-kidney transplantation (SLKT) candidates were allocated with livers, prioritizing SLKT recipients over much of the kidney waiting list. A 2017 change in policy delineated renal function criteria for SLKT and implemented a safety net for kidney-after-liver transplantation. We compared the use and outcomes of SLKT and kidney-after-liver transplant with the 2017 policy. United Network for Organ Sharing Standard Transplant Analysis and Research files were used to identify adults who received liver transplantations (LT) from August 10, 2007 to August 10, 2012; from August 11, 2012 to August 10, 2017; and from August 11, 2017 to June 12, 2019. LT recipients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) were defined by dialysis requirement or estimated glomerular filtration rate <25. We evaluated outcomes and center-level, regional, and national practice before and after the policy change. Nonparametric cumulative incidence of kidney-after-liver listing and transplant were modeled by era. A total of 6332 patients received SLKTs during the study period; fewer patients with glomerular filtration rate (GFR) ≥50 mL/min underwent SLKT over time (5.8%, 4.8%, 3.0%; P = 0.01 ). There was also less variability in GFR at transplant after policy implementation on center and regional levels. We then evaluated LT-alone (LTA) recipients with ESRD (n = 5408 from 2012-2017; n = 2321 after the policy). Listing for a kidney within a year of LT increased from 2.9% before the policy change to 8.8% after the policy change, and the rate of kidney transplantation within 1 year increased from 0.7% to 4% (P < 0.001). After the policy change, there was no difference in patient survival rates between SLKT and LTA among patients with ESRD. Implementation of the 2017 SLKT policy change resulted in reduced variability in SLKT recipient kidney function and increased access to deceased donor kidney transplantation for LTA recipients with kidney disease without negatively affecting outcomes.
Samoylova, ML; Wegermann, K; Shaw, BI; Kesseli, SJ; Au, S; Park, C; Halpern, SE; Sanoff, S; Barbas, AS; Patel, YA; Sudan, DL; Berg, C; McElroy, LM
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