Factors influencing kidney transplantation rates: a study from the ERA Registry

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2023 Jan 10;gfad001. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfad001. Online ahead of print.


Background: Large international differences exist in kidney transplantation (KT) rates. We aimed to investigate which factors may explain the total, deceased donor, and living donor KT rates over the last decade.

Methods: KT experts from 39 European countries completed the Kidney Transplantation Rate Survey on measures and barriers and their potential effect on the KT rate in their country. In the analyses, countries were divided into low, middle, and high KT rate countries based on the KT rate at the start of study period in 2010.

Results: Experts from low KT rate countries reported more frequently to have taken measures regarding staff, equipment and facilities to increase total KT rate compared with middle and high KT rate countries. For donor type specific KT, the largest international differences in measures taken were reported for deceased donor KT, with middle and high KT rate countries taking more measures, such as the use of expanded criteria donor kidneys, the presence of transplantation coordinators, and (inter)national exchange of donor kidneys. Once a measure was taken, experts' opinion on its success was similar across the low, middle and high KT rate countries. Experts from low KT rate countries more often reported potential barriers, such as patients' lack of knowledge and distrust in the health care system.

Conclusions: In particular in low KT rate countries, KT rate might be stimulated by optimizing staff, equipment, and facilities. In addition, all countries may benefit from deceased and living donor specific measures.

Keywords: Europe; barrier; kidney transplantation; measure.