THURSDAY, Oct. 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) — There is center-level variation in the use of deceased donor kidneys, according to a study published online Oct. 17 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Corey Brennan, M.P.H., from the Columbia University Renal Epidemiology Group in New York City, and colleagues created a donor utilization index using high-risk donor characteristics and discard rates from 113,640 deceased donor kidneys procured for transplant from 2010 to 2016 and used it to examine deceased donor kidney utilization in 182 adult transplant centers.

The researchers observed significant variation in the donor utilization index based on Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network region, indicating geographic trends in kidney utilization. No significant correlation was seen between center volume and donor utilization index; however, for all centers, the percentage of deceased donor kidneys imported from other regions was significantly associated with donor utilization. For regions 4 and 9, the correlation was particularly strong. In addition, there was a weak association for 25th percentile time to transplant with donor utilization index.

“This study demonstrates the considerable variation in patterns of kidney utilization by transplant centers across the country,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Additional studies are needed to understand how transplant center choices impact access to transplantation for patients, particularly given the newly launched Kidney Accelerated Placement Project for kidneys.”

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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