Deceased organ donor characteristics and clinical interventions associated with organ yield

Am J Transplant. 2008 May;8(5):965-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2008.02205.x. Epub 2008 Mar 10.


While the function of each organ is used by each transplant team to assess suitability for transplantation, little is known about the donor characteristics and clinical interventions that contribute toward overall organ transplantation potential. We conduct a retrospective review of United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) deceased donor registry data from January 2005 to December 2006. This registry contains all deceased donors from whom organs were recovered during this time period (n = 15,601). Ordinary least-squares (OLS) regression models using variables in the registry are estimated to predict the number of organs transplanted. Outcome is the number of organs transplanted per donor. Organ yield is found to depend significantly on donor age, anoxia as cause of death, history of myocardial infarction (MI), hypertension and/or diabetes, body mass index (BMI), B or AB blood type, cocaine and/or cigarette use and hepatitis infection (p < 0.01). In addition, the clinical interventions of steroid administration, desmopressin (DDAVP) and diuretic usage, as well as oxygenation, are associated with organ yield. Both intrinsic donor characteristics and medical management practice are observed to be highly variable across organ procurement organizations (OPOs). These findings may provide important information to explore and assess the efficacy of clinical interventions, compare OPO performance and point to best practices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Death
  • Cadaver*
  • Donor Selection
  • Humans
  • Patient Selection
  • Registries
  • Resource Allocation / methods
  • Tissue Donors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / methods*
  • United States
  • Waiting Lists