Impact of medical eligibility criteria and OPTN policy on simultaneous liver kidney allocation and utilization

Clin Transplant. 2022 Jul;36(7):e14700. doi: 10.1111/ctr.14700. Epub 2022 Jun 1.


Background: Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) implemented medical eligibility and safety-net policy on 8/10/17 to optimize simultaneous liver-kidney (SLK) utilization. We examined impact of this policy on SLK listings and number of kidneys used within 1-yr. of receiving liver transplantation (LT) alone.

Methods and results: OPTN database (08/10/14-06/12/20) on adults (N = 66 709) without previous transplant stratified candidates to listings for SLK or LT alone with pre-LT renal dysfunction at listing (eGFR < 30 mL/min or on dialysis). Outcomes were compared for pre (08/10/14-08/09/17) vs. post (08/10/17-06/12/20) policy era. SLK listings decreased in post vs. pre policy era (8.7% vs. 9.6%; P < .001), with 22% reduced odds of SLK listing in the postpolicy era, with a decrease in all OPTN regions except regions 6 and 8, which showed an increase. Among LT-alone recipients with pre-LT renal dysfunction (N = 3272), cumulative 1-year probability was higher in post vs. prepolicy period for dialysis (5.6% vs. 2.3%; P < .0001), KT listing (11.4% vs. 2.0%; P < .0001), and KT (3.7% vs. .25%; P < .0001). Sixty-seven (2.4%) kidneys were saved in post policy era, with 18.1%, 16.6%, 4.3%, and 2.9% saving from regions 7, 2, 11, and 1, respectively.

Conclusion: Medical eligibility and safety-net OPTN policy resulted in decreased SLK use and improved access to LT alone among those with pre-LT renal dysfunction. Although decreased in postpolicy era, regional variation of SLK listings remains. In spite of increased use of KT within 1-year of receiving LT alone under safety net, less number of kidneys were used without impact on patient survival in postpolicy era.

Keywords: ESRD; HRS; OPTN; cirrhosis; dialysis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Kidney
  • Kidney Diseases*
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Liver
  • Policy
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement*