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Impact of Regional Organ Sharing and Allocation in the UK Northern Liver Alliance on Waiting Time to Liver Transplantation and Waitlist Survival

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Abdullah Malik, Dr Steven MassonORCiD, Dr Mark Hudson, Professor Derek Manas


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BACKGROUND: In the United Kingdom, liver transplantation (LT) is undertaken in 7 supraregional centers. Until March 2018, liver grafts were offered to a center and allocated to a patient on their elective waiting list (WL) based on unit prioritization. Patients in Newcastle, Leeds, and Edinburgh with a United Kingdom Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (UKELD) score ≥62 were registered on a common WL and prioritized for deceased-donor liver allocation. This was known as the Northern Liver Alliance (NLA) "top-band scheme." Organs were shared between the 3 centers, with a "payback" scheme ensuring no patient in any center was disadvantaged. We investigated whether the NLA had improved WL survival and waiting time (WT) to transplantation. METHODS: Data for this study were obtained from the UK Transplant Registry maintained by National Health Service Blood and Transplant. This study was based on adult patients registered for first elective liver transplant between April 2013 and December 2016. Non-NLA centers were controls. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate WL survival and median WT to transplant, with the log-rank test used to make comparisons; a Bonferroni correction was applied post hoc to determine pairwise differences. RESULTS: WT was significantly lower at NLA centers compared with non-NLA centers for top-band patients (23 versus 99 days, P < 0.001). However, WL survival was not significantly different for top-band patients (P > 0.999) comparing NLA with non-NLA centers. WL survival for nontop-band patients was no different (P > 0.999) comparing NLA with non-NLA centers. CONCLUSIONS: The NLA achieved its aim, providing earlier transplantation to patients with the greatest need. Nontop-band patients did not experience inferior survival.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Malik AK, Masson S, Allen E, Akyol M, Bathgate A, Davies M, Hidalgo E, Hudson M, Powell J, Taylor R, Zarankaite A, Manas DM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Transplantation

Year: 2019

Volume: 103

Issue: 11

Pages: 2304-2311

Online publication date: 01/11/2019

Acceptance date: 08/02/2019

ISSN (print): 0041-1337

ISSN (electronic): 1534-6080

Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


DOI: 10.1097/TP.0000000000002687

PubMed id: 30830042


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