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The OPTN brings together medical professionals, transplant recipients and donor families to develop organ transplantation policy.

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Board approves resource to assess deceased donor kidney quality

Published on: Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Richmond, Va. -- As transplant professionals consider offers of kidneys from deceased donors, a key issue is a medical assessment of the organ's likelihood to function in the long term. The OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors, at its meeting June 21 and 22, unanimously approved the use of an informational reference using a statistical measure to assess kidney donor quality. The measure is called the Kidney Donor Profile Index (KDPI).

"We encourage organ donation and transplant professionals to become familiar with KDPI," said James Wynn, M.D., president of the OPTN and UNOS and chair of the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors. "At this point this is purely an informational tool for transplant clinicians and donation professionals to help them assess, among other factors, whether a given donor offer is suitable for a given potential recipient. However, many people support the concept of using KDPI in future kidney allocation policy, and we hope as people use it as a reference they will be better able to assess its potential as a component of policy." The KDPI is calculated individually for each potential donor, incorporating a variety of medical factors known to have a statistical influence on long-term graft survival (function of the transplanted organ). Some of these factors include the donor's age, weight, mechanism of death and history of certain medical conditions.

The score will be expressed in a percentile value between zero, for an organ with the longest expected survival potential, and one, for an organ with the shortest expected survival potential. The score is expected to provide a much more accurate assessment of long-term potential function of donor kidneys when compared to the current classification of donors as either "standard" or "extended criteria."

In other action, the Board approved a new provision in the OPTN bylaws requiring living donor kidney and liver transplant programs to document disclosure to each potential donor that the sale or purchase of human organs is a Federal crime. This bylaw is intended to promote greater consistency and vigilance in the efforts of living donor programs to educate and screen donors. While not addressed at this time, a similar disclosure to potential recipients of living donor organs may be considered in the future.