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Number and quality of kidney transplants much greater if national matching program adopted

A collaboration between Johns Hopkins and Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists has mathematically demonstrated that a national matching program for kidney paired donation, also called paired kidney exchange, would ensure the best possible kidney for the greatest number of recipients who have incompatible donors. Kidney paired donation (KPD) provides organs to patients who have a willing, designated donor who is not compatible. A kidney from such a donor is matched to -- and transplanted into -- the recipient of a second incompatible donor-patient pair, and vice versa. The transplants are performed simultaneously.

The researchers have developed an interactive Web site, www.OptimizedMatch.com, that provides more details and interactive demonstrations of the algorithm and its use in transplantation.

"Our findings demonstrate that a national pool of kidney donors and recipients, combined with new mathematical techniques for sorting through them to find the best possible organ matches, will not only allow more people to get the transplants they need, but will dramatically cut health care costs, reduce disruptive and unnecessary travel for patients, and insure that transplanted kidneys have the best possible chance of survival," said Dorry L. Segev, M.D., a surgeon at Johns Hopkins and lead author of a report published in the April 20, 2005, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"Even if only 7 percent of patients awaiting kidney transplantation participated in an optimized national KPD program, the health care system could save as much as $750 million," said Segev.

More than 60,000 people await kidney donation and are listed on the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) recipient registry, and nearly one-third of patients with willing donors are excluded from kidney transplantation because of blood-type and other incompatibilities, according to the report.


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Contact: Trent Stockton
tstockt1@jhmi.edu
410-955-8665
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
19-Apr-2005


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