Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation in the United States, 1995–2004

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This article examines OPTN/SRTR data on kidney and pancreas transplantation for 2004 and the previous decade, and discusses recent changes in kidney-pancreas (KP) allocation policy and emerging issues in kidney donation after cardiac death (DCD). Although the number of kidney donors continues to increase, new waiting list registrations again outpaced the number of kidney transplants performed, rising by 11% between 2003 and 2004 and contributing to a 1-year increase of 8% in the number of patients active on the waiting list. DCD has increased steadily since 2000; 39% more DCD transplants were performed in 2004 than 2003. Both deceased donor and living donor kidney graft survival rates remain excellent and are improving. The number of people living with a functioning kidney transplant doubled between 1995 and 2004, to 101 440 with a functioning kidney-alone and 7213 with a functioning KP. Health care providers in all settings are more likely to be exposed to these transplant recipients. Patient survival following simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) transplantation is excellent and has improved incrementally since 1995; death rates in the first year fell from 60 per 1000 patient-years at risk in 2001 to 45 in 2003. The number of solitary pancreas transplants increased dramatically in 2004.

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