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Keywords:

  • Adolescents;
  • lung allocation score;
  • mortality;
  • waiting list

On June 5, 2013, a US Federal Court ordered a temporary restraining order to allow two children within the court's jurisdiction to be registered on the adolescent lung transplant waiting list. On June 10, 2013, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network's Executive Committee altered lung allocation policy to offer candidates aged younger than 12 years greater access to adult lungs at the discretion of the national Lung Review Board. The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients reviewed trends over time in deceased donor lung transplant waitlist mortality and transplant rates, comparing children and adults. Mortality rates of candidates active on the waiting list have been higher for children aged 0–5 years, but have not differed for children aged 6–11 years compared with adolescents aged 12–17 years or adults aged 18 years or older. Transplant rates among active waitlist candidates have been comparable across all age groups. Thus, there is little evidence that the allocation system led to differences in waitlist mortality or transplant rates for children compared with adults. However, these comparisons are difficult to interpret given that current policies likely led to unaccounted differences in the severity of illness at the time of listing.