Transplant data: sources, collection and research considerations, 2004


  • Note on sources: The articles in this report are based on the reference tables in the 2004 OPTN/SRTR Annual Report, which are not included in this publication but are available online at

  • Funding: The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) is funded by contract number 231-00-0116 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), US Department of Health and Human Services. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the US Government. This is a US Government-sponsored work. There are no restrictions on its use.

*Corresponding author: David M. Dickinson,


The process of collecting and analyzing transplant data is complex. Familiarity with how these data are collected is crucial to a thorough understanding of the information. This article focuses on available OPTN-SRTR data and the continuing evolution of data collection mechanisms; how that data collection system is improving the data quality and reducing the data collection burden; how additional ascertainment of outcomes both completes and validates existing data; and caveats that remain for researchers. This year's article focuses further on research considerations related to cohort choice, timing of data submission, and potential biases in follow-up data. Ongoing improvements in data collection timeliness and scope are covered. The impact of extra ascertainment of outcomes, particularly for post-transplant kidney graft failure from Medicare data, are also examined. A section on graft failure reporting among different sources traces the steps by which the SRTR reconciles different data sources in its analyses. It is important that those reading and conducting transplant research understand the origin, structure, and scope of the available data. All of these issues should be carefully considered when choosing cohorts and data sources for analysis.