Global Estimates of Capacity for Kidney Transplantation in World Countries and Regions

Transplantation. 2022 Jun 1;106(6):1113-1122. doi: 10.1097/TP.0000000000003943. Epub 2022 Sep 7.


Background: Kidney transplantation (KT) is the optimal treatment for kidney failure and is associated with better quality of life and survival relative to dialysis. However, knowledge of the current capacity of countries to deliver KT is limited. This study reports on findings from the 2018 International Society of Nephrology Global Kidney Health Atlas survey, specifically addressing the availability, accessibility, and quality of KT across countries and regions.

Methods: Data were collected from published online sources, and a survey was administered online to key stakeholders. All country-level data were analyzed by International Society of Nephrology region and World Bank income classification.

Results: Data were collected via a survey in 182 countries, of which 155 answered questions pertaining to KT. Of these, 74% stated that KT was available, with a median incidence of 14 per million population (range: 0.04-70) and median prevalence of 255 per million population (range: 3-693). Accessibility of KT varied widely; even within high-income countries, it was disproportionately lower for ethnic minorities. Universal health coverage of all KT treatment costs was available in 31%, and 57% had a KT registry.

Conclusions: There are substantial variations in KT incidence, prevalence, availability, accessibility, and quality worldwide, with the lowest rates evident in low- and lower-middle income countries. Understanding these disparities will inform efforts to increase awareness and the adoption of practices that will ensure high-quality KT care is provided around the world.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Developing Countries
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic* / epidemiology
  • Kidney Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Quality of Life