Trends in kidney transplantation rate across Europe: Study from the ERA Registry

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2023 Jan 4;gfac333. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfac333. Online ahead of print.


Background: The aim of this study was to identify trends in total, deceased donor and living donor kidney transplantation (KT) rates in European countries.

Methods: The European Renal Association (ERA) Registry and the Global Observatory on Donation and Transplantation (GODT) databases were used to obtain the number of KTs in individual European countries between 2010 and 2018. General population counts were obtained from Eurostat or the national bureaus of statistics. The KT rate per million population (pmp) and the average annual percentage change (APC) were calculated.

Results: The total KT rate in the 40 participating countries increased with 1.9% annually (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.5, 2.2) from 29.6 pmp in 2010 to 34.7 pmp in 2018, reflecting an increase of 3.4 pmp in the deceased donor KT rate (from 21.6 pmp to 25.0 pmp, APC: 1.9% [95%CI: 1.3, 2.4]) and of 1.5 pmp in the living donor KT rate (from 8.1 pmp to 9.6 pmp, APC: 1.6% [95%CI: 1.0, 2.3]). The trends in KT rate varied widely across European countries. An East-West gradient was observed for deceased donor KT rate with Western European countries performing more KTs. In addition, most countries performed less living donor KTs. In 2018, Spain had the highest deceased donor KT rate (64.6 pmp) and Turkey the highest living donor KT rate (37.0 pmp).

Conclusions: The total KT rate increased due to a rise in the KT rate from deceased donors and to a lesser extent from living donors, with large differences between individual European countries.

Keywords: Europe; kidney transplantation; trends.