How The New Transplant Survival Policy Is Impacting Likelihood Of CKD Patients Receiving A Kidney?

Change is coming soon to the Chronic Kidney Disease community. For some this change will be welcomed, while others may be a bit less optimistic. In an effort to get the most out of each kidney transplanted, in June 2013 the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) and United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Board of Directors approved amendments to OPTN policy for deceased donor kidney allocation. 

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Soon to be implemented Nation Wide, every adult patient who is currently listed on the Kidney Transplant Waiting List will receive an Estimated Post Transplant Survival (EPTS) score which will be used in the new allocation system to determine expected survival of a Kidney Transplant in a given Recipient. The EPTS score ranges from 0% to 100%, and a LOWER EPTS score is in fact associated with HIGHER expected post-transplant longevity, and vice-versa. Chronic Kidney Disease patients' scores will depend on time on dialysis, current diagnosis of Diabetes, prior solid organ transplants, and age.

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Here is how it works: The candidates with EPTS scores of 20% or less will receive offers for cadaver kidneys (kidneys from deceased donors) from more desirable deceased donors with a Kidney Donor Profile Index (KDPI) scoresof 20% or less before other candidates at the local, regional, and national levels of distribution. Clearly, under the proposed policy, some kidneys with the longest estimated function would be offered first to candidates who are expected to need a transplant for the longest time. 

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According to the OPTN website, this policy change will still allow access to Kidney Transplants for individuals who are 50 years old and older who currently make up 60% of the Kidney Transplant Waiting List. "While the formula to assess long-term benefit includes a candidate’s age, it also includes other factors," writes OPTN, "This formula would only be used for the 20% of candidates expected to have the longest need for a transplant. Age will not be a factor in determining transplant priority for most candidates."

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Still the OPTN website notes, "The EPTS percent may change on a daily basis due to age and time on Dialysis." To calculate your EPTS score input the below information, and will forward to you a link to the most accurate EPTS calculator available. Also, to remain up-to-date about how Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetics can better manage their lives, visit your trusted resource,, every day for Breaking News & Information.

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"Allocation Calculators." Http:// Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.

"UNOS DonateLife." Http:// United Network for Organ Sharing.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Austin, TX: Texas Rehabilitation Commission, Disability Determination Services, 1996.Http:// Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.