Policy Change Boosts Minority Kidney Transplants

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The overall number of deceased-donor kidney transplants rose 40% for minorities and 8% for non-Hispanic whites from the six years before to the six years after the U.S. kidney allocation system eliminated the allocation priority for matching of HLA-B antigens between candidates and potential deceased donors.

The policy change was implemented on May 7, 2003 because of improved anti-rejection medications that made HLA-B matching less crucial.

The matching policy reduced transplant opportunities for minority candidates. In the 12-year period studied, the number of deceased donor transplants rose 23% overall among 108,701 solitary deceased-donor kidney recipients, according to a report in the American Journal of Transplantation (2011;11:1712-1718).

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