Cadaver kidney allocation in the north Italy transplant program on the eve of the new millennium.

G. Sirchia, F. Poli, M. Cardillo, M. Scalamogna, P. Rebulla, E. Taioli, G. Remuzzi, A. Nocera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The identification of parameters impacting on cadaver kidney graft outcome is of paramount importance to ensure proper organ allocation, a process that must take into account ethical, biological, social and administrative factors. This is particularly critical in countries where organ procurement is largely insufficient. In the present chapter we report the results of studies carried out to determine the impact of 17 factors on graft survival and function at 4 years posttransplant in 2,917 recipients transplanted from January 1990-September 1997 in the North Italy Transplant program (NITp). Patient and graft survival rates at 4 years (+/- SEM) were 93.5 +/- 0.5% and 81.4 +/- 0.8%, respectively. Excellent graft function at 4 years was shown by 69.8% of recipients. Younger donor age, absence of pretransplant transfusions, patient dialysis center in the NITp area and level of HLA match showed a statistically significant positive association with graft survival. Younger donor age and male donor gender showed a statistically significant association with excellent graft function at 4 years. These global outcomes were confirmed when the analysis was limited to the subset of the 2,617 adult recipients and to the subset of 1,211 cases for whom both donor and recipient HLA-DRB1 types were available before transplant. The results were used to develop a computer-assisted, refined version of the NITp adult kidney allocation algorithm that was named NITK3. A preliminary evaluation of 472 transplants allocated in 12 months with NITK3 compared with 459 transplants allocated in the preceding 12 months according to the previous algorithm (NITK2) showed a significantly higher proportion of recipients who had been on the waiting list for more than 3 years (33.1% vs 21.1%). The use of NITK3 was also associated with a significantly increased ability to transplant alloimmunized patients (17.7% vs 9.5% with NITK2) and recipients with 0-1 HLA mismatches (21.2% vs 13.5% with NITK2). Differences in 6-month graft survival rates and in the percentage of patients with excellent function at 6 months were not statistically significant in recipients transplanted with NITK3 versus NITK2. Survival rates were 96.9% and 92.4%, respectively. Percentages of patients with excellent renal function were 68.3% and 70.5%, respectively. These preliminary data suggest that NITK3 improves HLA match and reduces the number of patients on the waiting list for 3 or more years without determining significant modifications of 6-month graft survival and function. Moreover, it facilitates the achievement of a fair local balance between organs retrieved and transplanted, the compliance of operators with objective allocation rules and the documentation of the whole allocation process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-145
Number of pages13
JournalClinical transplants
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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