Current kidney allocation rules and their impact on a pediatric transplant center

Am J Transplant. 2009 Feb;9(2):404-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2008.02504.x.


In 2005, kidney allocation rules in the United States were updated to enhance access to kidneys from young adult deceased donors (DDs) for pediatric recipients. We studied how this rule change affected transplant activity at our pediatric center. We retrospectively compared kidney transplant activity at our center since the rule change (until December 31, 2007) to before the change (n = 36 each), focusing on those recipients directly affected by it, that is, younger than 18 years. There were no significant differences in recipients' age, gender or ethnicity before versus after the rule change. Percentages of preemptive transplants and retransplants were similar in both groups, as was the percentage of sensitized patients. There was a significant decrease in overall, but not DD, mean donor age. Mean wait time for DD kidneys decreased for pediatric recipients. Increases were found in percentage of DD transplants and in mean HLA mismatches after the rule change. Patient and short-term graft survival were not significantly different. These data suggest that the allocation rule change was not only followed by improvement in overall access to kidney transplantation for children, but also by decreases in living donor transplants and HLA matching. Larger studies are needed to evaluate the long-term impact of the change.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Directed Tissue Donation / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kidney Transplantation / standards*
  • Living Donors
  • Male
  • Resource Allocation / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Resource Allocation / methods
  • Resource Allocation / organization & administration
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / methods
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / organization & administration
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult