The Effect of Priority Given to Donor Card Holders on the Allocation of Livers for Transplant—Evidence From 7 Years of the Israeli Priority Program

Tamar Ashkenazi, Avraham Stoler, Eytan Mor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. The Israeli Transplant Law grants priority in organ allocation to patients signing a donor card. Liver transplant candidates get additional 2 points on their Model for End Stage Liver Disease score for signing a donor card, 0.1 points for a relative holding a card, and 5 points if a relative donated an organ. We studied the effect of the priority program on waiting list mortality and allocation changes due to priority. Methods. Using Israeli Transplant data of 531 adult liver transplant candidates with chronic liver disease listed between 2012 and 2018 we compared waitlist mortality and transplant rate of candidates with and without priority. Then we analyzed liver allocations resulting from additional priority points and followed outcome of patients who were skipped in line. Results. Of the 519 candidates, 294 did not sign a donor card, 82 signed, 140 had a relative sign, and for 3, a relative donated an organ. The rates of waitlist mortality in these 4 groups were 22.4%, 0%, 21.4%, and 0%, respectively, and the transplant rates were 50%, 59.8%, 49.3%, and 100%, respectively. Of the 30 patients who were skipped because of priority, 24 subsequently underwent transplant, 2 are on the waiting list, and 4 died within 0.75, 1.75, 7, and 17 mo. Conclusions. The 2 points added to the Model for End Stage Liver Disease score were associated with lower waitlist mortality and higher transplant rate for candidates signing a donor card without significantly affecting access to transplant during allocation. Further research and consideration of optimal policy when granting priority for candidates signing a donor card should continue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-307
Number of pages9
JournalTransplantation
Volume106
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2022

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Effect of Priority Given to Donor Card Holders on the Allocation of Livers for Transplant—Evidence From 7 Years of the Israeli Priority Program'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this