We Need More Kidneys!

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Example of a paper whose conclusion is summed up quite nicely in the full title:  “Half of Kidney Transplant Candidates Who Are Older than 60 Years Now Placed on the Waiting List Will Die before Receiving a Deceased-Donor Transplant”.

The paper is published by Schold et al in this month’s issue of CJASN.  Briefly, the authors conducted a retrospective analysis from the national Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients database and specifically looked at the nearly 55,000 candidates greater than 60 years of age who were listed for a kidney transplant.  They essentially compared the average time to successfully being given a deceased donor kidney transplant to the average time to mortality.  They found that nearly half (46%) of candidates greater than 60 years of age listed recently (2006 & 2007) are projected to die before receiving a transplant.  Patients who were especially at-risk for death before getting a kidney transplant were diabetic (61%), older than 70 years (52%), black (62%), blood types O (60%) or B (71%), highly sensitized (68%), and already on dialysis at the time of listing (53%).  

The study underscores both the significant shortage of cadaveric donor kidneys available for transplant as well as the high mortality rate of elderly patients with advanced renal failure.  

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