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Am J Transplant. 2011 Jun;11(6):1226-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2011.03539.x. Epub 2011 May 12.

Solid organ allograft survival improvement in the United States: the long-term does not mirror the dramatic short-term success.

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Division of Nephrology, Hypertension and Renal Transplantation, Department of Medicine, University of Florida, FL, USA.


Organ survival in the short-term period post-transplant has improved dramatically over the past few decades. Whether this has translated to a long-term survival benefit remains unclear. This study quantifies the progression of nonrenal solid organ transplant outcomes from 1989 to 2009 in liver, lung, heart, intestine and pancreas transplants. Long-term graft survival was analyzed using data on adult solid organ transplant recipients from the UNOS/SRTR database and is reported as organ half-life and yearly attrition rates. Liver, lung, heart, intestine and pancreas half-lives have improved from 5.8 to 8.5, 1.7 to 5.2, 8.8 to 11, 2.1 to 3.6 and 10.5 to 16.7 years, respectively. Long-term attrition rates have not shown the same consistent improvement, with the yearly attrition rate 5-10 years post-transplant for liver, lung, heart and pancreas changing from 4.7 to 4.3, 10.9 to 10.1, 6.4 to 5.1 and 3.3 to 4.2, respectively. Attrition rates for intestine and pancreas transplantation alone display more variability due to smaller sample size but exhibit similar trends of improved first-year attrition and relatively stagnant long-term attrition rates. With first-year survival and attrition rates almost at a pinnacle, further progress in long-term survival will come from targeting endpoints beyond first-year rejection and survival rates.

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