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Transplantation. 1999 Feb 27;67(4):548-56.

A practical approach to evaluate the potential donor pool and trends in cadaveric kidney donation.

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Department of Medicine, The University of Michigan, The Veterans Administration Hospital, Ann Arbor, USA.



The potential supply of transplantable cadaver kidneys is often expressed as donors per million population (pmp), which ignores some essential factors governing organ donation.


We performed a modeled analysis of kidney donor extraction rates by age, gender, race, cause of death, geographic region, and year in a cohort of evaluable deaths and actual cadaver donors between the ages of 1 and 65 years (1988-1993). Evaluable death was defined as an in-hospital death in patients between the ages of 1 and 65 years whose ICD-9-CM cause of death was not an obvious contraindication to kidney donation. The main outcome measures were the crude donation rate and an adjusted donor extraction rate (DER) per 1000 evaluable deaths.


A total of 1.4x10(6) in-hospital deaths produced 300,502 evaluable deaths and 20,575 actual donors. Between 1989 and 1993, DER increased from 61.1 to 75 per 1,000 evaluable deaths. DERs were highest among the youngest age groups, declining significantly with age from 405.0 to 16.7/1,000 evaluable deaths for age groups 1-10 and 56-65 years, respectively. There was a small difference in donors pmp between blacks and whites (15 vs. 18). In contrast, DER was seven times higher in whites compared with blacks (112.5 vs. 16.5/1,000 evaluable deaths; P<0.001). The crude donation rate (per 1,000 evaluable deaths) was high for stroke (604.8) and trauma-related deaths (230.6), resulting in highly efficient donor extraction from these deaths. Region-specific DERs ranged from 49.4 to 83/1,000 evaluable deaths and differed significantly from the corresponding donors pmp.


Estimating kidney donation relative to in-hospital evaluable deaths is a meaningful measure of organ procurement efficiency. Efforts to enhance cadaveric kidney donation should seek to understand and reduce the marked demographic and regional disparity in donor extraction rates.

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