THE EVALUATION OF CANDIDATES FOR RENAL TRANSPLANTATION: THE CURRENT PRACTICE OF U.S. TRANSPLANT CENTERS

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Abstract

The criteria for acceptance of candidates for renal transplantation varies throughout the United States. The Patient Care and Education Committee of the American Society of Transplant Physicians conducted a survey of all U.S. centers that participate in the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) concerning their evaluation of adult candidates for kidney transplantation. The response to each question was examined according to the specialty of the individual who filled out the questionnaire, as well as the type of transplant center (university or private) and the size of the center.

The response rate to the survey was 81% (147/182). We found the following: (1) university-based and larger centers accepted more medically complicated patients; (2) 83% noted that attendance to dialysis was an important indicator of compliance after transplantation; (3) 79% did not require preoperative blood transfusions for cadaver kidney recipients; (4) 66% set no specific upper age limit for transplantation; (5) 56% excluded patients with chronic active hepatitis in the setting of hepatitis B antigenemia; (6) 50% had no specific policy for evaluating hepatitis C antibody-positive patients, while 54% excluded the use of hepatitis C antibody-positive donors, and (7) 15% obtained coronary angiography on all diabetic patients.

U.S. transplant centers have a heterogeneous approach to the evaluation of patients for renal transplantation, particularly in the areas of viral hepatitis, cardiovascular disease, and noncompliance. University-based centers and centers that perform a larger number of transplants accept more medically complicated patients.

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