Adult living donor kidney transplantation (LDKT) declined significantly from 2010 to 2019, investigators reported at the 2021 American Transplant Congress virtual meeting.

Using the United Network for Organ Sharing database, Nyingi Kemmer, MD, MPH, MSc, and colleagues from Tampa General Hospital in Tampa, Florida, identified 178,125 adult patients who underwent kidney transplants and 66,719 who underwent liver transplants during 2010 to 2019. Results showed that 31.8% of the kidney transplant patients and 4.0% of liver transplant patients received organs from living donors.

Although annual transplantation of both living- and deceased-donor kidneys rose from 16,152 to 23,641, the proportion of patients undergoing LDKT decreased from 37% in 2010 to 29% in 2019, according to the investigators. The investigators found the decline in LDKT among Black, White, and Hispanic patients. Among Asian recipients, however, the proportion of those who received a living-donor kidney rose significantly from 27% to 33% in the recent decade.

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The number of liver transplants, both from living and deceased donors, during the study period increased from 5731 to 8345, but in contrast to kidney transplantation, the proportion of patients undergoing living-donor liver transplantation increased from 3.8% to 5.3%.

Study findings could increase community awareness about the important role of living donation in decreasing the long waiting time for a transplant and the ever-widening gap between the number of organ donors and the number of individuals in need of a transplant, said Dr Kemmer, medical director for the hospital’s liver transplant program.

“For the transplant community, it’s crucial to identify the barriers associated with living donation,” she said.


Kemmer N, Albers C, Agrawal S, Syed R, Malespin M, Buggs J. Trends in living donor transplantation in USA. Presented at: ATC 2021 virtual meeting held June 4-9. Abstract 693.