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National kidney allocation concepts discussed in public forum

Published on: Monday, January 26, 2009

St. Louis, MO -- The OPTN/UNOS Kidney Transplantation Committee hosted a public forum today to discuss concepts for kidney allocation. More than 200 people participated, both in person and over an internet/telephone connection.

Topics discussed included three concepts the kidney committee is considering which could potentially work together to determine a candidate Kidney Allocation Score (KAS):

  • Life Years from Transplant (LYFT): Determines the estimated survival that a recipient of a specific donor kidney may expect to receive versus remaining on dialysis. LYFT is primarily a measure of utility.
  • Dialysis Time (DT): Time spent on dialysis allows candidates to gain priority over the period they receive this treatment, adding the essential element of justice into the allocation system.
  • Donor Profile Index (DPI): Provides a continuous measure of organ quality based on clinical information. DPI increases individual autonomy by providing a better metric for deciding which organs are appropriate for which candidates.

LYFT, DPI, and DT could be collectively or individually used to better match kidneys to candidates based on the expected survival of both the kidney and the recipient.

The Kidney Committee will meet tomorrow to review and discuss the input it received today as well as the comments received in response to a Request for Information circulated in September.

Based on the feedback, the committee may revise, add or remove concepts as it continues to develop a policy proposal. There is not a set timetable for policy development. When the committee develops a policy proposal it feels satisfies the goals and requirements for kidney allocation to enhance patient benefit, it will circulate the proposal for public comment.