Sequence of refusals for donor quality, organ utilization, and survival after lung transplantation

Singh E1, Schecter M1, Towe C1, Rizwan R2, Roosevelt B2, Tweddell J2, Hossain MM3, Morales D2, Zafar F4. (Ohio)

J Heart Lung Transplant. 2019 Jan;38(1):35-42. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2018.08.009. Epub 2018 Aug 17.

Lung donor utilization rates remain low, with many organs refused for donor quality. However, some centers have successfully transplanted these organs despite multiple refusals for donor quality (RDQs) by other centers. We hypothesized that the number of refusals due to donor quality does not impact post-transplant outcomes.

Lung transplants (LTxs) from 2006 to 2015, identified using the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database, were matched against the potential transplant recipient (PTR) data set by donor identification. Transplants were categorized into 2 groups: low RDQ (0 to 3 RDQs) and high RDQ (>3 RDQs). Post-transplant survival and predictors for high RDQ were observed using Kaplan‒Meier and logistic regression analyses, respectively.

Of 10,126 adult (>18 years) LTxs, 77% had at least 1 RDQ, with a median of 4 RDQs. Post-transplant 1-year survival was similar for both the low and high RDQ groups (p = 0.49). Furthermore, groups of recipients who received donors with an increasing number of RDQs (>3, >6, or >10) also had similar post-transplant 1-year survival (p = 0.77). Treatment for rejection within 1 year and intubation at 72 hours post-transplant were higher in the high RDQ group (p < 0.01). An inverse relationship was identified between the number of RDQs and likelihood of utilization. After 10 RDQs, the likelihood of utilization varied significantly by donor characteristics.

Lung transplant survival is not associated with number of refusals due to donor quality. When determining whether an organ is suitable for transplant, the number of refusals due to donor quality should not influence one’s decision, especially in this era of limited donor supply.

Copyright © 2018 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.KEYWORDS: donor quality; donor refusal; lung transplant; lung transplant survival; organ utilization. PMID: 30241885PMCID: PMC6298809 [Available on 2020-01-01] DOI: 10.1016/j.healun.2018.08.009