Data from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients offer a unique and comprehensive view of US trends in kidney and pancreas waiting list characteristics and outcomes, transplant recipient and donor characteristics, and patient and allograft survival. Important findings from our review of developments during 2002 and the decade's transplantation trends appear below.
The kidney waiting list has continued to grow, increasing from 47 830 in 2001 to 50 855 in 2002. This growth has occurred despite the increasing importance of living donor transplantation, which rose from 28% of total kidney transplants in 1993 to 43% in 2002.
Policies and procedures to expedite the allocation of expanded criteria donor (ECD) kidneys were developed and implemented during 2002, when 15% of deceased donor transplants were performed with ECD kidneys. Unadjusted 1- and 5-year deceased donor kidney allograft survivals were 81% and 51% for ECD kidney recipients, and 90% and 68% for non-ECD kidney recipients, respectively.
Although more patients have been placed on the simultaneous kidney-pancreas waiting list, the number of these transplants dropped from a peak of 970 in 1998 to 905 in 2002. This decline may be due to competition for organs from increasing numbers of isolated pancreas and islet transplants.