With Respect to Elderly Patients: Finding Kidneys in the Context of New Allocation Concepts

Authors


Paul Tso, ptso@emory.edu

Abstract

The elderly have benefited from increased access to renal transplantation in recent years. New allocation concepts would shift distribution of kidneys to younger recipients, making expanded criteria and living donor kidneys more relevant for seniors. Current issues impacting expanded criteria donor kidney availability and living donor transplant opportunities for the elderly are explored. It is hoped that the kidney donor profile index will improve risk assessment and utilization of marginal kidneys. The usefulness of procurement biopsy remains controversial. Dual kidney transplantation and machine perfusion appear to be effective mechanisms to increase organ availability. “Old-for-old” allocation systems, donation service area variation and regulatory and reimbursement issues highlight disparities and disincentives affecting expanded criteria donor organ utilization, and considerations for the way forward are discussed. Living donor transplantation, even with older donors, may provide the best option for elderly recipients, and careful expansion of the living donor pool appears appropriate. In light of new allocation concepts, it will be important to understand issues pertinent to seniors and develop effective strategies to maintain or improve their access to the benefits of transplantation.

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