Identifying appropriate recipients for CDC infectious risk donor kidneys

E. K.H. Chow, A. B. Massie, A. D. Muzaale, A. L. Singer, L. M. Kucirka, R. A. Montgomery, H. P. Lehmann, D. L. Segev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over 10% of deceased donors in 2011 met PHS/CDC criteria for infectious risk donor (IRD), and discard rates are significantly higher for kidneys from these donors. We hypothesized that patient phenotypes exist for whom the survival benefit outweighs the infectious risk associated with IRDs. A patient-oriented Markov decision process model was developed and validated, based on SRTR data and meta-analyses of window period risks among persons with IRD behaviors. The Markov model allows patients to see, for their phenotype, their estimated survival after accepting versus declining an IRD offer, graphed over a 5-year horizon. Estimated 5-year survival differences associated with accepting IRDs ranged from -6.4% to +67.3% for a variety of patient phenotypes. Factors most predictive of the survival difference with IRD transplantation were age, PRA, previous transplant, and the expected time until the next non-IRD deceased donor offer. This study suggests that survival benefit derived from IRD kidneys varies widely by patient phenotype. Furthermore, within the inherent limitations of model-based prediction, this study demonstrates that it is possible to identify those predicted to benefit from IRD kidneys, and illustrates how estimated survival curves based on a clinical decision can be presented to better inform patient and provider decision-making. Using a novel patient-perspective Markov model, this study informs the clinical decision of accepting kidneys from infectious risk donors. See editorial by Turgeon et al on page 1121.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1227-1234
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Donor/recipient matching
  • HIV infection
  • hepatitis C virus
  • infectious risk
  • kidney transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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