For most end-stage renal disease patients, successful kidney transplant provides substantially longer survival and better quality of life than dialysis, and preemptive transplant is associated with better outcomes than transplants occurring after dialysis initiation. However, kidney transplant numbers in the us have not changed for a decade. Since 2004, the total number of candidates on the waiting list has increased annually. Median time to transplant for wait-listed adult patients increased from 2.7 years in 1998 to 4.2 years in 2008. The discard rate of deceased donor kidneys has also increased, and the annual number of living donor transplants has decreased. The number of pediatric transplants peaked at 899 in 2005, and has remained steady at approximately 750 over the past 3 years; 40.9% of pediatric candidates undergo transplant within 1 year of wait-listing. Graft survival continues to improve for both adult and pediatric recipients. Kidney transplant is one of the most cost-effective surgical interventions; however, average reimbursement for recipients with primary Medicare coverage from transplant through 1 year posttransplant was comparable to the 1-year cost of care for a dialysis patient. Rates of rehospitalization are high in the first year posttransplant; annual costs after the first year are lower.
Keywords: End-stage renal disease; kidney transplant; organ allocation; waiting list.
© Copyright 2013 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.