Publications by authors named "David A Axelrod"

73 Publications

Comparative Effectiveness of Risk-Adjusted Cumulative Sum and Periodic Evaluation for Monitoring Hospital Perioperative Mortality.

Med Care 2021 Apr 23. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety, Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center Michael E DeBakey Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine Section of Health Services Research, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX Department of Surgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IO Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Center for Innovation to Implementation, Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Menlo Park, CA Department of Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, CA National Surgery Office, Veterans Health Administration, Washington, DC Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.

Background: National surgical quality improvement (QI) programs use periodic, risk-adjusted evaluation to identify hospitals with higher than expected perioperative mortality. Rapid, accurate identification of poorly performing hospitals is critical for avoiding potentially preventable mortality and represents an opportunity to enhance QI efforts.

Methods: Hospital-level analysis using Veterans Affairs (VA) Surgical Quality Improvement Program data (2011-2016) to compare identification of hospitals with excess, risk-adjusted 30-day mortality using observed-to-expected (O-E) ratios (ie, current gold standard) and cumulative sum (CUSUM) with V-mask. Various V-mask slopes and radii were evaluated-slope of 2.5 and radius of 1.0 was used as the base case.

Results: Hospitals identified by CUSUM and quarterly O-E were identified midway into a quarter [median 47 days; interquartile range (IQR): 24-61 days before quarter end] translating to a median of 129 (IQR: 60-187) surgical cases and 368 (IQR: 145-681) postoperative inpatient days occurring after a CUSUM signal, but before the quarter end. At hospitals identified by CUSUM but not O-E, a median of 2 deaths within a median of 5 days triggered a signal. In some cases, these clusters extended beyond CUSUM identification date with as many as 8 deaths undetected using O-E. Sensitivity and negative predictive values for CUSUM relative to O-E were 71.9% (95% confidence interval: 66.2%-77.1%) and 95.5% (94.4%-96.4%), respectively.

Conclusions: CUSUM evaluation identifies hospitals with clusters of mortality in excess of expected more rapidly than periodic analysis. CUSUM represents an analytic tool national QI programs could utilize to provide participating hospitals with data that could facilitate more proactive implementation of local interventions to help reduce potentially avoidable perioperative mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MLR.0000000000001559DOI Listing
April 2021

Incidence, Clinical Correlates, and Outcomes of Pulmonary Hypertension after Kidney Transplantation: Analysis of Linked U.S. Registry and Medicare Billing Claims.

Transplantation 2021 Apr 9. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO, USA University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH, USA UT Health, San Antonio, TX, USA University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY, USA Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN, USA University Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

Background: The incidence, risks, and outcomes associated with pulmonary hypertension (P-HTN) in the kidney transplant (KTx) population are not well described.

Methods: We linked U.S. transplant registry data with Medicare claims (2006-2016) to investigate P-HTN diagnoses among Medicare-insured KTx recipients (N=35,512) using billing claims. Cox regression was applied to identify independent correlates and outcomes of P-HTN (adjusted hazard ratio, aHR, 95%LCLaHR95%UCL), and to examine P-HTN diagnoses as time-dependent mortality predictors.

Results: Overall, 8.2% of recipients had a diagnostic code for P-HTN within 2 years preceding transplant. By 3 years posttransplant, P-HTN was diagnosed in 10.310.6%11.0 of the study cohort. After adjustment, posttransplant P-HTN was more likely in KTx recipients who were older (aHR for age >60 vs. 18-30 years: 1.912.403.01) or female (aHR, 1.151.241.34), who had pretransplant P-HTN (aHR, 4.384.795.24), coronary artery disease (aHR, 1.051.151.27), valvular heart disease (aHR, 1.221.321.43), peripheral vascular disease (aHR, 1.051.181.33), chronic pulmonary disease (aHR, 1.201.311.43), obstructive sleep apnea (aHR, 1.151.281.43), longer dialysis duration, pretransplant hemodialysis (aHR, 1.171.371.59), or who underwent transplant in the more recent era (2012-2016 vs. 2006-2011: aHR, 1.291.391.51). Posttransplant P-HTN was associated with >2.5-fold increased risk of mortality (aHR, 2.572.843.14) and all-cause graft failure (aHR, 2.422.642.88) within 3 years posttransplant. Outcome associations of newly-diagnosed posttransplant P-HTN were similar.

Conclusions: Posttransplant P-HTN is diagnosed in 1 in 10 KTx recipients and is associated with an increased risk of death and graft failure. Future research is needed to refine diagnostic, classification, and management strategies to improve outcomes in KTx recipients who develop P-HTN.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TP.0000000000003783DOI Listing
April 2021

COVID-19 test result reporting for deceased donors: Emergent policies, logistical challenges, and future directions.

Clin Transplant 2021 Mar 10:e14280. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic poses unprecedented challenges to the transplant community, including organ procurement organizations (OPOs), transplant centers, regulatory agencies, and recipient candidates. Access to timely, accurate information on the status of deceased donor viral infection is essential in determining organ acceptance. The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network expeditiously added fields to collect these data; however, use of the data collection fields was not uniform nationally. Standardized, field-defined data capture and reporting are vital to ensure optimal organ utilization during this pandemic, and to prepare the community for subsequent challenges.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ctr.14280DOI Listing
March 2021

Trends in Discard of Kidneys from Hepatitis C Viremic Donors in the United States.

Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2021 Feb 15;16(2):251-261. Epub 2021 Jan 15.

Division of Nephrology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri

Background And Objectives: Kidneys from hepatitis C virus (HCV) viremic donors have become more commonly accepted for transplant, especially after effective direct-acting antiviral therapy became available in 2014. We examined the contemporary trend of kidney discard from donors with HCV seropositivity and viremia.

Design, Setting, Participants, & Measurements: Data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network were used to identify deceased donor kidneys recovered for transplant. The exposure was donor HCV antibody status in the first analyses, and donor HCV antibody and viremia status in the second analyses. Multilevel, multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the association of these HCV exposure measures with kidney discard, adjusted for donor characteristics. Multilevel analyses were conducted to account for similar kidney discard pattern within clusters of organ procurement organizations and regions.

Results: Among 225,479 kidneys recovered from 2005 to 2019, 5% were from HCV seropositive donors. Compared with HCV seronegative kidneys, the odds of HCV seropositive kidney discard gradually declined, from a multivariable-adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of 7.06 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 5.65 to 8.81) in 2014, to 1.20 (95% CI, 1.02 to 1.42) in 2019. Among 82,090 kidneys with nucleic acid amplification test results in 2015-2019, 4% were from HCV viremic donors and 2% were from aviremic seropositive donors. Compared with HCV aviremic seronegative kidneys, the odds of HCV viremic kidney discard decreased from an aOR of 4.89 (95% CI, 4.03 to 5.92) in 2018, to 1.48 (95% CI, 1.22 to 1.81) in 2019. By 2018 and 2019, aviremic seropositive status was not associated with higher odds of discard (2018: aOR, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.88 to 1.45; and 2019: aOR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.76 to 1.23).

Conclusions: Despite the decrease in kidney discard in recent years, kidneys from viremic (compared with aviremic seronegative) donors still had 48% higher odds of discard in 2019. The potential of these discarded organs to provide successful transplantation should be explored.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2215/CJN.10960720DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7863640PMC
February 2021

Survey of Clinician Opinions on Kidney Transplantation from Hepatitis C Virus Positive Donors: Identifying and Overcoming Barriers.

Kidney360 2020 Nov 25;1(11):1291-1299. Epub 2020 Nov 25.

University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

Background: Transplant practices related to use of organs from Hepatitis C virus infected donors (DHCV+) is evolving rapidly.

Methods: We surveyed U.S. kidney transplant programs by email and professional society listserv postings between 7/19-1/20 to assess attitudes, management strategies, and barriers related to use of viremic (nucleic acid testing (NAT)+) donor organs in HCV uninfected recipients.

Results: Staff at 112 unique programs responded, representing 54% of U.S. adult kidney transplant programs and 69% of adult deceased donor kidney transplant volume in 2019. Most survey respondents were transplant nephrologists (46%) or surgeons (43%). Among responding programs, 67% currently transplant DHCV antibody+/NAT- organs under a clinical protocol or as standard of care. By comparison, only 58% offer DHCV NAT+ kidney transplant to HCV- recipients, including 35% under clinical protocols, 14% as standard of care, and 9% under research protocols. Following transplant of DHCV NAT+ organs to uninfected recipients, 53% start direct acting antiviral agent (DAA) therapy after discharge and documented viremia. Viral monitoring protocols after DHCV NAT+ to HCV uninfected recipient kidney transplantation varied substantially. 56% of programs performing these transplants report having an institutional plan to provide DAA treatment if declined by the recipient's insurance. Respondents felt a mean decrease in waiting time of ≥18 months (range 0-60) justifies the practice. Program concerns related to use of DHCV NAT+ kidneys include insurance coverage concerns (72%), cost (60%), and perceived risk of transmitting resistant infection (44%).

Conclusions: Addressing knowledge about safety and logistical/financial barriers related to use of DHCV NAT+ kidney transplantation for HCV uninfected recipients may help reduced discards and expand the organ supply.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.34067/KID.0004592020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7695231PMC
November 2020

An International survey on living kidney donation and transplant practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Transpl Infect Dis 2021 Apr 19;23(2):e13526. Epub 2020 Dec 19.

Saint Louis University Center for Abdominal Transplantation, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO, USA.

The scope of the impact of the Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic on living donor kidney transplantation (LDKT) practices across the world is not well-defined. We received survey responses from 204 transplant centers internationally from May to June 2020 regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on LDKT practices. Respondents represented 16 countries on five continents. Overall, 75% of responding centers reported that LDKT surgery was on hold (from 67% of North American centers to 91% of European centers). The majority (59%) of centers reported that new donor evaluations were stopped (from 46% of North American centers to 86% of European centers), with additional 23% of centers reporting important decrease in evaluations. Only 10% of centers reported slight variations on their evaluations. For the centers that continued donor evaluations, 40% performed in-person visits, 68% by video, and 42% by telephone. Center concerns for donor (82%) and recipient (76%) safety were the leading barriers to LDKT during the pandemic, followed by patients concerns (48%), and government restrictions (46%). European centers reported more barriers related to staff limitations while North and Latin American centers were more concerned with testing capacity and insufficient resources including protective equipment. As LDKT resumes, 96% of the programs intend to screen donor and recipient pairs for coronavirus infection, most of them with polymerase chain reaction testing of nasopharyngeal swab samples. The COVID-19 pandemic has had broad impact on all aspects of LDKT practice. Ongoing research and consensus-building are needed to guide safe reopening of LDKT programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tid.13526DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7744917PMC
April 2021

Using race to estimate glomerular filtration and its impact in kidney transplantation.

Clin Transplant 2021 01 24;35(1):e14136. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Department of Surgery, Division of Transplantation, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA, USA.

Since direct measurement of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is time-consuming and more expensive, estimated GFR (eGFR) based on measured laboratory values is widely used to determine kidney function. Commonly used formulae to calculate eGFR are dependent on variables, which include filtration markers like serum creatinine and patient characteristics including race. Medical algorithms which utilize race are increasingly being scrutinized, as race is recognized to be a social construct rather than a biologic one. eGFR calculations have important implications for kidney transplantation, both in the listing of candidates as well as in the evaluation of potential kidney donors. This review considers the specific implications of race-based eGFR calculations on recipient evaluation and on decisions related to living kidney donation. We suggest a potential policy solution to ensure that racial and ethnic minority patients are not disadvantaged by eGFR as a result of current calculation methods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ctr.14136DOI Listing
January 2021

Immunosuppression Regimen Use and Outcomes in Older and Younger Adult Kidney Transplant Recipients: A National Registry Analysis.

Transplantation 2020 Nov 18. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.

Background: Although the population of older transplant recipients has increased dramatically, there are limited data describing the impact of immunosuppression regimen choice on outcomes in this recipient group.

Methods: National data for U.S. Medicare-insured adult kidney recipients (N=67,362; 2005-2016) were examined to determine early immunosuppression regimen and associations with acute rejection, death-censored graft failure and mortality using multivariable regression analysis in younger (18-64 years) and older (>65 years) adults.

Results: The use of anti-thymocyte globulin (TMG) or alemtuzumab (ALEM) induction with triple maintenance immunosuppression (reference) was less common in older compared with younger (36.9% vs 47.0%) recipients, as was TMG/ALEM + steroid avoidance (19.2% vs 20.1%) and mTORi-based (6.7% vs 7.7%) treatments. Conversely, older patients were more likely to receive IL2-receptor antibody (IL2rAb) + triple maintenance (21.1% vs 14.7%), IL2rAb + steroid avoidance (4.1% vs 1.8%), and cyclosporine-based (8.3% vs 6.6%) immunosuppression. Compared to older recipients treated with TMG/ALEM + triple maintenance (reference regimen), those managed with TMG/ALEM + steroid avoidance (adjusted odds ratio (aOR), 0.440.520.61) and IL2rAb + steroid-avoidance (aOR, 0.390.550.79) had lower risk of acute rejection. Older patients experienced more death censored graft failure when managed with Tac+ antimetabolite avoidance (adjusted hazard (aHR), 1.411.782.25), mTORi-based (aHR, 1.702.142.71), and cyclosporine-based (aHR, 1.411.782.25) regimens, versus the reference regimen. mTORi-based and cyclosporine-based regimens were associated with increased mortality in both older and younger patients.

Conclusions: Lower-intensity immunosuppression regimens (e.g. steroid-sparing) appear beneficial for older kidney transplant recipients, while mTORi and cyclosporine-based maintenance immunosuppression are associated with higher risk of adverse outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TP.0000000000003547DOI Listing
November 2020

Financial Evaluation of Kidney Transplant With Hepatitis C Viremic Donors to Uninfected Recipients.

Transplant Direct 2020 Dec 10;6(12):e627. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Department of Medicine, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO.

Kidney transplantation with hepatitis C viremic (dHCV+) donors appears safe for recipients without HCV when accompanied by direct acting antiviral (DAA) treatment. However, US programs have been reluctant to embrace this approach due to concern about insurance coverage. While the cost of DAA treatment is currently offset by the reduction in waiting time, increased competition for dHCV+ organs may reduce this advantage. This analysis sought to demonstrate the financial benefit of dHCV+ transplant for third-party health insurers to expand coverage availability.

Methods: An economic analysis was developed using a Markov model for 2 decisions: first, to accept a dHCV+ organ versus wait for a dHCV uninfected organ; or second, accept a high kidney donor profile index (KDPI) (>85) organ versus wait for a better quality dHCV+ organ. The analysis used Medicare payments, historical survival data, cost report data, and an estimated cost of DAA of $29 874.

Results: In the first analysis, using dHCV+ kidneys reduced the cost of end-stage kidney disease care if the wait for a dHCV uninfected organ exceeded 11.5 months. The financial breakeven point differed according to the cost of DAA treatment. In the second analysis, declining a high-KDPI organ in favor of a waiting dHCV+ organ was marginally clinically beneficial if waiting times were <12 months but not cost effective.

Conclusions: dHCV+ transplant appears to be economically and clinically advantageous compared with waiting for dHCV-uninfected transplant but should not replace high-KDPI transplant when appropriate. Despite the high cost of DAA therapy, health insurers benefit financially from dHCV+ transplant within 1 year.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TXD.0000000000001056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7665247PMC
December 2020

Impact of Functional Status on Outcomes of Simultaneous Pancreas-kidney Transplantation: Risks and Opportunities for Patient Benefit.

Transplant Direct 2020 Sep 21;6(9):e599. Epub 2020 Aug 21.

Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Background: The impact of functional status on survival among simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant (SPKT) candidates and recipients is not well described.

Methods: We examined national Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) data for patients listed for SPKT in the United States (2006-2019). Functional status was categorized by center-reported Karnofsky Performance Score (KPS). We used Cox regression to quantify associations of KPS at listing and transplant with subsequent patient survival, adjusted for baseline patient and transplant factors (adjusted hazard ratio, aHR). We also explored time-dependent associations of SPKT with survival risk after listing compared with continued waiting in each functional status group.

Results: KPS distributions among candidates (N = 16 822) and recipients (N = 10 316), respectively, were normal (KPS 80-100), 62.0% and 57.8%; capable of self-care (KPS 70), 23.5% and 24.7%; requires assistance (KPS 50-60), 12.4% and 14.2%; and disabled (KPS 10-40), 2.1% and 3.3%. There was a graded increase in mortality after listing and after transplant with lower functional levels. Compared with normal functioning, mortality after SPKT rose progressively for patients capable of self-care (aHR, 1.18), requiring assistance (aHR, 1.31), and disabled (aHR, 1.55). In time-dependent regression, compared with waiting, SPKT was associated with 2-fold mortality risk within 30 days of transplant. However, beyond 30 days, SPKT was associated with reduced mortality, from 52% for disabled patients (aHR, 0.48) to 70% for patients with normal functioning (aHR, 0.30).

Conclusions: While lower functional status is associated with increased mortality risk among SPKT candidates and recipients, SPKT can provide long-term survival benefit across functional status levels in those selected for transplant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TXD.0000000000001043DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7447442PMC
September 2020

Survey of US Living Kidney Donation and Transplantation Practices in the COVID-19 Era.

Kidney Int Rep 2020 Nov 25;5(11):1894-1905. Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Organ Transplant Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA.

Introduction: The scope of the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on living donor kidney transplantation (LDKT) practices is not well defined.

Methods: We surveyed US transplant programs to assess practices, strategies, and barriers to living LDKT during the COVID-19 pandemic. After institutional review board approval, the survey was distributed from 9 May 2020 to 30 May 2020 by e-mail and postings to professional society list-servs. Responses were stratified based on state COVID-19 cumulative incidence levels.

Results: Staff at 118 unique centers responded, representing 61% of US living donor recovery programs and 75% of LKDT volume in the prepandemic year. Overall, 66% reported that LDKT surgery was on hold (81% in "high" vs. 49% in "low" COVID-19 cumulative incidence states). A total of 36% reported that evaluation of new donor candidates had paused, 27% reported that evaluations were very much decreased (>0% to <25% typical), and 23% reported that evaluations were moderately decreased (25% to <50% typical). Barriers to LDKT surgery included program concerns for donor (85%) and recipient (75%) safety, patient concerns (56%), elective case restrictions (47%), and hospital administrative restrictions (48%). Programs with higher local COVID-19 cumulative incidence reported more barriers related to staff and resource diversion. Most centers continuing donor evaluations used remote strategies (video, 82%; telephone, 43%). As LDKT resumes, all programs will screen for COVID-19, although timeframe and modalities will vary. Recommendations for presurgical self-quarantine are also variable.

Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic has had broad impacts on LDKT practice. Ongoing research and consensus building are needed to reduce barriers, to guide optimal practices, and to support safe restoration of LDKT across centers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ekir.2020.08.017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7445484PMC
November 2020

A simple risk-based reimbursement system for kidney transplant.

Clin Transplant 2021 01 24;35(1):e14068. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.

Transplant centers were challenged by the Executive Order on Advancing Kidney health to increase access to kidney transplant (KTx) by accepting higher risk patients and organs. However, Medicare reimbursement for KTx does not include adjustment for major complicating comorbidities (MCCs) like other transplants. The prevalence of MCCs was assessed for KTx performed from 10/15 to 10/19 at a single academic center, using Medicare ICD10 MCC criteria exclusive of end-stage kidney disease. KTx hospital resource utilization and estimated margin, assuming Medicare reimbursement, were determined for cases with and without MCC. Among 260 KTx recipients, 49 (19%) had an MCC. Patients with MCCs had longer wait times (1121 days vs 703 days, P < .001); however, there were no differences in age, gender, race, or diagnosis. Donor characteristics associated with an MCC included greater cold ischemic time (1042 vs 670 minutes, P < .001) and fewer living donor KTx (9% vs 32%, P < .001). KTx cost, exclusive of organ acquisition, was 31% higher (MCC: $38 293 vs No MCC: $29 132) and estimated margin was markedly lower (-$7750 vs -$1001, P = .001). In conclusion, KTx with qualifying MCCs resulted in significant financial losses and modification of KTx payment methodology to align with other organ transplants is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ctr.14068DOI Listing
January 2021

A call to action: Feasible strategies to reduce the discard of transplantable kidneys in the United States.

Clin Transplant 2020 09 4;34(9):e13990. Epub 2020 Jul 4.

Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA.

Changes to the United States kidney allocation system targeted at reducing organ discard have failed to improve organ utilization. High Kidney Donor Profile Index kidneys continue to be discarded at high rates as a result of the regulatory and financial barriers to widespread utilization of these organs. However, there are potential changes to clinical practice that could improve organ utilization. Expediting the time from initial offer to final organ acceptance would reduce cold ischemic time and should improve utilization. Implementation of procurement biopsy standards to avoid biopsy of low risk organs may prevent organ discards due to inaccurate data or excessive cold ischemia time. Further, standardization of procurement biopsy pathological interpretation coupled with electronic accessibility would enable early acceptance of difficult to transplant organs. These changes to allocation practice patterns are vital given proposals to expand the geographic sharing of deceased donor kidneys. Implementation of new allocation policies must be evaluated to ensure they result in higher transplant rates and acceptable post-transplant outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ctr.13990DOI Listing
September 2020

Outcome implications of benzodiazepine and opioid co-prescription in kidney transplant recipients.

Clin Transplant 2020 09 3;34(9):e14005. Epub 2020 Aug 3.

Center for Abdominal Transplantation, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.

The outcomes of benzodiazepine and opioid co-prescription are not well-defined in transplant populations. We examined linked national transplant registry and pharmaceutical records to characterize benzodiazepine and opioid use in the years before and after transplant in large US cohort of kidney transplant recipients (2007-2016; N = 98 620), and associations (adjusted hazard ratio, aHR ) with death and graft failure. Among the cohort, 15.6% filled benzodiazepine prescriptions in the year before transplant, and 14.0% filled benzodiazepine prescriptions in the year after transplant (short-acting, 9.5%; long-acting, 3.3%; both 1.1%). Use of short-acting benzodiazepines in the year before transplant was associated with a 22% increased risk of death in the year after transplant (aHR, 1.22 ), while use of all classes in the year after transplant was associated with increased risk of death from >1 to 5 years (aHR: short-acting 1.39 ; long-acting 1.25 ; both 1.74 ). Recipients who used benzodiazepines were also more likely to fill opioid prescriptions. Recipients who filled both classes of benzodiazepine and the highest level of opioids had a 2.9-fold increased risk of death compared to recipients who did not use either. Co-prescription of benzodiazepines and opioids in kidney transplant recipients is associated with increased mortality. Ongoing research is needed to understand mechanisms of risk relationships.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ctr.14005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7722087PMC
September 2020

Management of Antimicrobial Agents in Abdominal Organ Transplant Patients in Intensive Care Unit.

Curr Transplant Rep 2020 24;7(1):1-11. Epub 2020 Jan 24.

1Organ Transplant Center, Department of Surgery, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, IA 52242 USA.

Purpose Of Review: Early diagnosis of infections and immediate initiation of appropriate antimicrobials are crucial in the management of patients before and after organ transplantation. We reviewed the most recent literature and guidelines in this field and organized the current recommendations for healthcare professionals caring for critically ill organ transplant recipients.

Recent Findings: The incidence of multidrug-resistant organisms is increasing. Multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria comprise about 14% of organisms. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci bloodstream infections are also on the rise, as 20.5% of nosocomial enterococci are now vancomycin-resistant, changing empiric antibiotic selection. Fluconazole-resistant species comprise up to 46% of cases of candidemia in hospitalized patients. Consequently, new guidelines recommend primary use of echinocandins in patients with candidemia who have moderate-to-severe disease. Finally, the incidence of emergence of ganciclovir-resistant cytomegalovirus infection in patients is 5-12%, requiring early recognition and change to alternative regimens in the case of poor response to therapy.

Summary: Bloodstream infections are a major cause of mortality and morbidity in solid organ transplantation. Mortality as high as 24% and 50% have been reported with sepsis and septic shock respectively. As such, bloodstream infections should be diagnosed rapidly and intravenous antibiotics should be started immediately. Appropriate resuscitation should be initiated and the number and/or dose of immunosuppressive drugs should be reduced. Proper source control must also be achieved with radiologic drainage or surgical intervention as appropriate. Initial antibiotic treatment of these patients should cover both Gram-positive organisms, especially in the presence of intravascular catheters, and Gram-negative bacteria. Echinocandins like caspofungin should also be considered especially in critically ill patients, particularly if a patient has been on total parenteral nutrition or broad-spectrum antibiotics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40472-020-00268-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7222087PMC
January 2020

Improving safety in organ recovery transportation: Report from the ASTS/UNOS/AST/AOPO transportation safety summit.

Am J Transplant 2020 08 17;20(8):2001-2008. Epub 2020 May 17.

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Despite the passage of a decade since the tragic loss of an organ recovery team from the University of Michigan, there are currently no national standards governing air and ground transportation of organ recovery personnel. Consequently, the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations, and the United Network for Organ Sharing jointly convened a transportation summit to review and update recommendations for national transportation standards. Expanded air transport quality assurance protocols, including a requirement for two engine turbine-powered aircraft piloted by two qualified pilots certified through onsite inspections was recommended. Ground transportation providers must ensure adequate safety restraints are available, ambulance avoided if possible, and the use of lights and sirens minimized. Finally, adequate insurance coverage for all team members, including trainees should be provided and should not rely on carrier liability insurance policies. The summit participants have committed the support of their organizations to promote and enact these regulations nationally.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajt.15930DOI Listing
August 2020

KDIGO Clinical Practice Guideline on the Evaluation and Management of Candidates for Kidney Transplantation.

Transplantation 2020 Apr;104(4S1 Suppl 1):S11-S103

The Ottawa Hospital and Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada.

The 2020 Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) Clinical Practice Guideline on the Evaluation and Management of Candidates for Kidney Transplantation is intended to assist health care professionals worldwide who evaluate and manage potential candidates for deceased or living donor kidney transplantation. This guideline addresses general candidacy issues such as access to transplantation, patient demographic and health status factors, and immunological and psychosocial assessment. The roles of various risk factors and comorbid conditions governing an individual's suitability for transplantation such as adherence, tobacco use, diabetes, obesity, perioperative issues, causes of kidney failure, infections, malignancy, pulmonary disease, cardiac and peripheral arterial disease, neurologic disease, gastrointestinal and liver disease, hematologic disease, and bone and mineral disorder are also addressed. This guideline provides recommendations for evaluation of individual aspects of a candidate's profile such that each risk factor and comorbidity are considered separately. The goal is to assist the clinical team to assimilate all data relevant to an individual, consider this within their local health context, and make an overall judgment on candidacy for transplantation. The guideline development process followed the Grades of Recommendation Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. Guideline recommendations are primarily based on systematic reviews of relevant studies and our assessment of the quality of that evidence, and the strengths of recommendations are provided. Limitations of the evidence are discussed with differences from previous guidelines noted and suggestions for future research are also provided.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TP.0000000000003136DOI Listing
April 2020

Summary of the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) Clinical Practice Guideline on the Evaluation and Management of Candidates for Kidney Transplantation.

Transplantation 2020 04;104(4):708-714

The Ottawa Hospital and Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada.

The 2020 Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) Clinical Practice Guideline on the Evaluation and Management of Candidates for Kidney Transplantation is intended to assist health care professionals worldwide who evaluate and manage potential candidates for deceased or living donor kidney transplantation. This guideline addresses general candidacy issues such as access to transplantation, patient demographic and health status factors, immunological and psychosocial assessment. The roles of various risk factors and comorbid conditions governing an individual's suitability for transplantation such as adherence, tobacco use, diabetes, obesity, perioperative issues, causes of kidney failure, infections, malignancy, pulmonary disease, cardiac and peripheral arterial disease, neurologic disease, gastrointestinal and liver disease, hematologic disease, and bone and mineral disorder are also addressed. This guideline provides recommendations for evaluation of individual aspects of a candidate's profile such that each risk factor and comorbidity are considered separately. The goal is to assist the clinical team to assimilate all data relevant to an individual, consider this within their local health context, and make an overall judgment on candidacy for transplantation. The guideline development process followed the Grades of Recommendation Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. Guideline recommendations are primarily based on systematic reviews of relevant studies and our assessment of the quality of that evidence. The strengths of recommendations are provided in the full report. Limitations of the evidence are discussed with differences from previous guidelines noted and suggestions for future research are also provided.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TP.0000000000003137DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7147399PMC
April 2020

Economic impacts of alternative kidney transplant immunosuppression: A national cohort study.

Clin Transplant 2020 04 11;34(4):e13813. Epub 2020 Mar 11.

Saint Louis University Center for Abdominal Transplantation, St. Louis, Missouri.

Understanding the economic implications of induction and maintenance immunosuppression (ISx) is important in developing personalized kidney transplant (KTx) care. Using data from a novel integrated data set including financial records from the University Health System Consortium, Medicare, and pharmacy claims (2007-2014), we estimated the differences in the impact of induction and maintenance ISx regimens on transplant hospitalization costs and Medicare payments from KTx to 3 years. Use of thymoglobulin (TMG) significantly increased transplant hospitalization costs ($12 006; P = .02), compared with alemtuzumab and basiliximab. TMG resulted in lower Medicare payments in posttransplant years 1 (-$2058; P = .05) and 2 (-$1784; P = .048). Patients on steroid-sparing ISx incurred relatively lower total Medicare spending (-$10 880; P = .01) compared with patients on triple therapy (tacrolimus, antimetabolite, and steroids). MPA/AZA-sparing, mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors-based, and cyclosporine-based maintenance ISx regimens were associated with significantly higher payments. Alternative ISx regimens were associated with different KTx hospitalization costs and longer-term payments. Future studies of clinical efficacy should also consider cost impacts to define the economic effectiveness of alternative ISx regimens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ctr.13813DOI Listing
April 2020

Desensitization strategies: is it worth it?

Transpl Int 2020 03 5;33(3):251-259. Epub 2020 Feb 5.

Department of Surgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.

Preformed donor-specific antibodies (DSAs) limit access to transplantation for thousands of renal transplant patients. While kidney paired donation offers the best strategy for patients with a living donor, for very highly sensitized patients and those without living donors, a strategy of desensitization offers the best hope of transplantation. Removal of DSAs with plasmapheresis, intravenous immunoglobulin and anti-CD20 antibodies can permit successful transplantation. While the clinical outcomes remain inferior to compatible transplant and the costs are significantly greater, when compared with long-term dialysis treatment, these strategies are offer improved survival and are cost-effective given nationally accepted benchmarks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tri.13532DOI Listing
March 2020

Prescription opioid use before and after heart transplant: Associations with posttransplant outcomes.

Am J Transplant 2019 12 12;19(12):3405-3414. Epub 2019 Sep 12.

Center for Abdominal Transplantation, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.

Impacts of the prescription opioid epidemic have not yet been examined in the context of heart transplantation. We examined a novel database in which national U.S. transplant registry records were linked to a large pharmaceutical claims warehouse (2007-2016) to characterize prescription opioid use before and after heart transplant, and associations (adjusted hazard ratio, aHR ) with death and graft loss. Among 13 958 eligible patients, 40% filled opioids in the year before transplant. Use was more common among recipients who were female, white, or unemployed, or who underwent transplant in more recent years. Of those with the highest level of pretransplant opioid use, 71% continued opioid use posttransplant. Pretransplant use had graded associations with 1-year posttransplant outcomes; compared with no use, the highest-level use (>1000 mg morphine equivalents) predicted 33% increased risk of death (aHR 1.33 ) in the year after transplant. Risk relationships with opioid use in the first year posttransplant were stronger, with highest level use predicting 70% higher mortality (aHR 1.70 ) over the subsequent 4 years (from >1 to 5 years posttransplant). While associations may, in part, reflect underlying conditions or behaviors, opioid use history is relevant in assessing and providing care to transplant candidates and recipients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajt.15565DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6883129PMC
December 2019

Therapeutic Hypothermia in Organ Donors: Follow-up and Safety Analysis.

Transplantation 2019 11;103(11):e365-e368

Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

Background: In a recent trial, targeted mild hypothermia in brain-dead organ donors significantly reduced the incidence of delayed graft function after kidney transplantation. This trial was stopped early for efficacy. Here, we report long-term graft survival for all organs along with donor critical care end points.

Methods: We assessed graft survival through 1 year of all solid organs transplanted from 370 donors who had been randomly assigned to hypothermia (34-35°C) or normothermia (36.5-37.5°C) before donation. Additionally, changes in standardized critical care end points were compared between donors in each group.

Results: Mild hypothermia was associated with a nonsignificant improvement in 1-year kidney transplant survival (95% versus 92%; hazard ratio, 0.61 [0.31-1.20]; P = 0.15). Mild hypothermia was associated with higher 1-year graft survival in the subgroup of standard criteria donors (97% versus 93%; hazard ratio, 0.39 [0.15 to -1.00]; P = 0.05). There were no significant differences in graft survival of extrarenal organs. There were no differences in critical care end points between groups.

Conclusions: Mild hypothermia in the donor safely reduced the rate of delayed graft function in kidney transplant recipients without adversely affecting donor physiology or extrarenal graft survival. Kidneys from standard criteria donors who received targeted mild hypothermia had improved 1-year graft survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TP.0000000000002890DOI Listing
November 2019

Modeling the economic benefit of targeted mild hypothermia in deceased donor kidney transplantation.

Clin Transplant 2019 07;33(7):e13626

Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

Delayed graft function (DGF) in kidney transplant significantly increases inpatient and outpatient cost. Targeted, mild hypothermia in organ donors after neurologic determination of death significantly reduced the rate of DGF in a recent randomized controlled clinical trial. To assess the potential economic benefit of national implementation of donor hypothermia, rates of reduction DGF were combined with estimates of the impact of DGF on hospital cost and total health expenditure for standard and extended criteria donor organs (SCD and ECD). DGF increases the cost of the transplant episode by $9487 for ECD transplant and $10 342 for SCD transplant. Medicare recipients with DGF incur an additional $18 513 spending for ECD and $14 948 in SCD transplants over the first year. An absolute reduction in DGF rate after kidney transplantation consistent with trial results (ECD 25%, SCD 7%) has the potential to lower annual hospital cost for kidney transplant by $13 178 746 and annual Medicare spending by $20 970 706 compared to standard donor management practice using static cold storage. Targeted mild hypothermia improves care of renal transplant patients by safely reducing DGF rates in both ECD and SCD transplant. Broader application of this safe, effective, and low-cost intervention could reduce healthcare expenditures for providers and insurers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ctr.13626DOI Listing
July 2019

Editorial: Ethical considerations in expanding the organ supply.

Authors:
David A Axelrod

Curr Opin Organ Transplant 2019 06;24(3):329-331

Department of Surgery, Carver School of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MOT.0000000000000645DOI Listing
June 2019

Variation in use of procurement biopsies and its implications for discard of deceased donor kidneys recovered for transplantation.

Am J Transplant 2019 08 12;19(8):2241-2251. Epub 2019 Apr 12.

University of Iowa Transplant Institute, Iowa City, Iowa.

The use of procurement biopsies in deceased donor kidney acceptance is controversial. We analyzed Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients data (n = 59 328 allografts, 2014-2018) to describe biopsy practices across US organ procurement organizations (OPOs) and examine relationships with discards, using hierarchical modeling to account for OPO and donor factors. Median odds ratios (MORs) provide the median of the odds that allografts with identical reported traits would be biopsied or discarded from 2 randomly drawn OPOs. Biopsies were obtained for 52.7% of kidneys. Biopsy use rose in a graded manner with kidney donor profile index (KDPI). Biopsy rates differed significantly among OPOs (22.8% to 77.5%), even after adjustment for KDPI and other donor factors. Discard rates also varied from 6.6% to 32.1% across OPOs. After adjustment for donor factors and OPO, biopsy was associated with more than 3 times the likelihood of discard (adjusted odds ratio [ aOR ], 3.51 ). This association was most pronounced for low-risk (KDPI <20) kidneys (aOR, 6.47 ), with minimal impact at KDPI >85 (aOR, 1.15 ). Adjusted MORs for kidney discard and biopsy were greatest for low-risk kidneys. Reducing the rate of unnecessary biopsy and improving the accuracy of histologic assessments in higher KDPI organs may help reduce graft discard rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajt.15325DOI Listing
August 2019

Cannabis Dependence or Abuse in Kidney Transplantation: Implications for Posttransplant Outcomes.

Transplantation 2019 11;103(11):2373-2382

Division of Nephrology, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO.

Background: Cannabis is categorized as an illicit drug in most US states, but legalization for medical indications is increasing. Policies and guidance on cannabis use in transplant patients remain controversial.

Methods: We examined a database linking national kidney transplant records (n = 52 689) with Medicare claims to identify diagnoses of cannabis dependence or abuse (CDOA) and associations [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) with 95% upper and lower confidence limits (CLs)] with graft, patient, and other clinical outcomes.

Results: CDOA was diagnosed in only 0.5% (n = 254) and 0.3% (n = 163) of kidney transplant recipients in the years before and after transplant, respectively. Patients with pretransplant CDOA were more likely to be 19 to 30 years of age and of black race, and less likely to be obese, college-educated, and employed. After multivariate and propensity adjustment, CDOA in the year before transplant was not associated with death or graft failure in the year after transplant, but was associated with posttransplant psychosocial problems such as alcohol abuse, other drug abuse, noncompliance, schizophrenia, and depression. Furthermore, CDOA in the first year posttransplant was associated with an approximately 2-fold increased risk of death-censored graft failure (aHR, 2.29; 95% CL, 1.59-3.32), all-cause graft loss (aHR, 2.09; 95% CL, 1.50-2.91), and death (aHR, 1.79; 95% CL, 1.06-3.04) in the subsequent 2 years. Posttransplant CDOA was also associated with cardiovascular, pulmonary, and psychosocial problems, and with events such as accidents and fractures.

Conclusions: Although associations likely, in part, reflect associated conditions or behaviors, clinical diagnosis of CDOA in the year after transplant appears to have prognostic implications for allograft and patient outcomes. Recipients with posttransplant CDOA warrant focused monitoring and support.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TP.0000000000002599DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6679817PMC
November 2019

Impact of the Treating Hospital on Care Outcomes for Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Hepatology 2018 11 8;68(5):1879-1889. Epub 2018 Oct 8.

Division of Surgical Oncology, Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.

Multidisciplinary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treatment is associated with optimal outcomes. There are few data analyzing the impact of treating hospitals' therapeutic offerings on survival. We performed a retrospective cohort study of patients aged 18-70 years with HCC in the National Cancer Database (2004-2012). Hospitals were categorized based on the level of treatment offered (Type I-nonsurgical; Type II-ablation; Type III-resection; Type IV-transplant). Associations between overall risk of death and hospital type were evaluated with multivariable Cox shared frailty modeling. Among 50,381 patients, 65% received care in Type IV hospitals, 26% in Type III, 3% in Type II, and 6% in Type I. Overall 5-year survival across modalities was highest at Type IV hospitals (untreated: Type IV-13.1% versus Type I-5.7%, Type II-7.0%, Type III-7.4% [log-rank, P < 0.001]; chemotherapy and/or radiation: Type IV-18.1% versus Type I-3.6%, Type II-4.6%, Type III-7.7% [log-rank, P < 0.001]; ablation: Type IV-33.3% versus Type II-13.6%, Type III-23.6% [log-rank, P < 0.001]; resection: Type IV-48.4% versus Type III-39.1% [log-rank, P < 0.001]). Risk of death demonstrated a dose-response relationship with the hospital type-Type I (ref); Type II (hazard ratio [HR] 0.81, 95% confidence interval [0.73-0.90]); Type III (HR 0.67 [0.62-0.72]); Type IV hospitals (HR 0.43 [0.39-0.47]). Conclusion: Although care at hospitals offering the full complement of HCC treatments is associated with decreased risk of death, one third of patients are not treated at these hospitals. These data can inform the value of health policy initiatives regarding regionalization of HCC care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hep.30128DOI Listing
November 2018

Center-driven and Clinically Driven Variation in US Liver Transplant Maintenance Immunosuppression Therapy: A National Practice Patterns Analysis.

Transplant Direct 2018 Jul 13;4(7):e364. Epub 2018 Jun 13.

Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery, Lahey Clinic, Burlington, MA.

Background: Variation in the use of immunosuppression regimens after liver transplant has not been well described.

Methods: Immunosuppression regimens used after liver transplant were identified in a novel database integrating national transplant registry and pharmacy fill records for 24 238 recipients (2006-2014). Bilevel hierarchical models were developed to quantify the effects of transplant program, recipient, and donor characteristics on regimen choice.

Results: In the first 6 months after transplant, triple immunosuppression (tacrolimus, antimetabolite, corticosteroids) was the most common regimen (42.9%). By months 7 to 12, immunosuppression regimens were more commonly antimetabolite sparing (33.7%) or steroid sparing (26.9%), followed by triple (14.4%), mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor (mTORi)-based (12.1%), or cyclosporine-based (9.2%). Based on intraclass correlation analysis, clinical characteristics explained less than 10% of the variation in immunosuppression choice, whereas program preference/practice explained 23% of steroid sparing, 26% of antimetabolite sparing, 28% of mTORi, and 21% of cyclosporine-based regimen use. Although case factors were not dominant practice drivers, triple immunosuppression in months 7 to 12 was more common among retransplant recipients and those with prior acute rejection. Hepatocellular carcinoma as cause of liver failure (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.15; <0.001), cancer within 6 months (aOR, 6.07; <0.001), and 6-month estimated glomerular filtration rate less than 30 mL/min per 1.3 m (aOR, 1.98; <0.001) were associated with mTORi use compared with triple immunosuppression in months 7 to 12, whereas acute rejection predicted lower use (aOR, 0.72; =0.003).

Conclusions: Liver transplant immunosuppression is dominantly driven by program preference, but case factors also affect regimen choice. This variation frames a natural experiment for future evaluations of comparative efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/TXD.0000000000000800DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6056277PMC
July 2018

Implementing an innovated preservation technology: The American Society of Transplant Surgeons' (ASTS) Standards Committee White Paper on Ex Situ Liver Machine Perfusion.

Am J Transplant 2018 08 16;18(8):1865-1874. Epub 2018 Jun 16.

Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, Burlington, MA, USA.

The pervasive shortage of deceased donor liver allografts contributes to significant waitlist mortality despite efforts to increase organ donation. Ex vivo liver perfusion appears to enhance preservation of donor organs, extending viability and potentially evaluating function in organs previously considered too high risk for transplant. These devices pose novel challenges for organ allocation, safety, training, and finances. This white paper describes the American Society of Transplant Surgeons' belief that organ preservation technology is a vital advance, but its use should not change fundamental aspects of organ allocation. Additional data elements need to be collected, made available for organ assessment by transplant professionals to allow determination of organ suitability in the case of reallocation and incorporated into risk adjustment methodology. Finally, further work is needed to determine the optimal strategy for management and oversight of perfused organs prior to transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajt.14945DOI Listing
August 2018

An economic assessment of contemporary kidney transplant practice.

Am J Transplant 2018 05 31;18(5):1168-1176. Epub 2018 Mar 31.

Center for Abdominal Transplantation, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.

Kidney transplantation is the optimal therapy for end-stage renal disease, prolonging survival and reducing spending. Prior economic analyses of kidney transplantation, using Markov models, have generally assumed compatible, low-risk donors. The economic implications of transplantation with high Kidney Donor Profile Index (KDPI) deceased donors, ABO incompatible living donors, and HLA incompatible living donors have not been assessed. The costs of transplantation and dialysis were compared with the use of discrete event simulation over a 10-year period, with data from the United States Renal Data System, University HealthSystem Consortium, and literature review. Graft failure rates and expenditures were adjusted for donor characteristics. All transplantation options were associated with improved survival compared with dialysis (transplantation: 5.20-6.34 quality-adjusted life-years [QALYs] vs dialysis: 4.03 QALYs). Living donor and low-KDPI deceased donor transplantations were cost-saving compared with dialysis, while transplantations using high-KDPI deceased donor, ABO-incompatible or HLA-incompatible living donors were cost-effective (<$100 000 per QALY). Predicted costs per QALY range from $39 939 for HLA-compatible living donor transplantation to $80 486 for HLA-incompatible donors compared with $72 476 for dialysis. In conclusion, kidney transplantation is cost-effective across all donor types despite higher costs for marginal organs and innovative living donor practices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajt.14702DOI Listing
May 2018