Expanding Kidney Paired Donation Through Participation by Compatible Pairs

Authors

  • S. E. Gentry,

    1. Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
    2. Department of Mathematics, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • D. L. Segev,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • M. Simmerling,

    1. Department of Surgery and MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
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  • R. A. Montgomery

    1. Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
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* Corresponding author: Dorry L. Segev, dorry@jhmi.edu

Abstract

In kidney paired donation (KPD), incompatible pairs exchange kidneys so that each recipient receives a compatible organ. This modality is underutilized partly because of the difficulty of finding a suitable match among incompatible pairs. Alternatively, recipients with compatible donors might enter KPD arrangements in order to be matched with a donor predicted to give greater allograft durability or for other altruistic reasons. Using simulated donors and recipients, we investigated the impact of allowing recipients and their compatible donors to participate in KPD. For KPD programs of any size, the participation of compatible donor/recipient pairs nearly doubled the match rate for incompatible pairs (28.2% to 64.5% for single-center program, 37.4% to 75.4% for national program). Legal, logistical, and governmental controversies have hampered the expansion of KPD in the United States by delaying the creation of a national program. The inclusion of compatible pairs into small single-center pools could achieve match rates that would surpass that which could be realized by a national list made up of only incompatible pairs. This new paradigm of KPD can immediately be instituted at the single-center level, while the greatest gains will be achieved by incorporating compatible pairs into a national program.

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