Same policy, different impact: Center-level effects of share 35 liver allocation

Douglas R. Murken, Allison W. Peng, David D. Aufhauser, Peter L. Abt, David S. Goldberg, Matthew H. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Early studies of national data suggest that the Share 35 allocation policy increased liver transplants without compromising posttransplant outcomes. Changes in center-specific volumes and practice patterns in response to the national policy change are not well characterized. Understanding center-level responses to Share 35 is crucial for optimizing the policy and constructing effective future policy revisions. Data from the United Network for Organ Sharing were analyzed to compare center-level volumes of allocation–Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (aMELD) ≥ 35 transplants before and after policy implementation. There was significant center-level variation in the number and proportion of aMELD ≥ 35 transplants performed from the pre– to post–Share 35 period; 8 centers accounted for 33.7% of the total national increase in aMELD ≥ 35 transplants performed in the 2.5-year post–Share 35 period, whereas 25 centers accounted for 65.0% of the national increase. This trend correlated with increased listing at these centers of patients with Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) ≥ 35 at the time of initial listing. These centers did not overrepresent the total national volume of liver transplants. Comparison of post–Share 35 aMELD to calculated time-of-transplant (TOT) laboratory MELD scores showed that only 69.6% of patients transplanted with aMELD ≥ 35 maintained a calculated laboratory MELD ≥ 35 at the TOT. In conclusion, Share 35 increased transplantation of aMELD ≥ 35 recipients on a national level, but the policy asymmetrically impacted practice patterns and volumes of a subset of centers. Longer-term data are necessary to assess outcomes at centers with markedly increased volumes of high-MELD transplants after Share 35. Liver Transplantation 23 741–750 2017 AASLD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-750
Number of pages10
JournalLiver Transplantation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Hepatology
  • Transplantation


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