Variability in acceptance of organ offers by pediatric transplant centers and its impact on wait-list mortality

Ellen Mitchell, Kathleen M. Loomes, Robert H. Squires, David Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Recent data have suggested that pediatric patients wait-listed for a liver transplantation frequently have liver offers declined. However, factors associated with liver offer decisions and center-level variability in practice patterns have not been explored. We evaluated United Network for Organ Sharing data on all match runs from May 1, 2007 to December 31, 2015 in which the liver was offered to ≥1 pediatric patient; the transplant recipient was ranked in the first 40 positions for the organ offer; and the donor was brain-dead and <50 years of age. We used multilevel mixed effects models to evaluate factors associated with organ offer acceptance, among-center variability, and the association between center-level acceptance and wait-list mortality. There were 4088 unique pediatric patients during the study period, comprising 27,094 match runs. Initial Model for End-Stage Liver Disease or Pediatric End-Stage Liver Disease score, history of exception points, recipient region, rank on match run, and geographic share type were all associated with probability of offer acceptance. There was significant among-center variation (P < 0.001) in adjusted liver offer acceptance rates, accounting for donor, recipient, and match-related factors (adjusted acceptance rates: median, 8.9%; range, 5.1%-14.6%). Center-level acceptance rates were associated with wait-list mortality, with a >10% increase in the risk of wait-list mortality for every 1% decrease in a center's adjusted liver offer acceptance rate (odds ratio, 1.10; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.19). In conclusion, there is significant among-center variability in liver offer acceptance rates for pediatric patients that is not explained by donor and recipient factors. A center's liver acceptance behavior significantly impacts whether a pediatric patient will be transplanted or die on the waiting list. Liver Transplantation 24 803–809 2018 AASLD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-809
Number of pages7
JournalLiver Transplantation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Hepatology
  • Transplantation


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