State-Based Liver Distribution: Broad Sharing With Less Harm to Vulnerable and Underserved Communities Compared With Concentric Circles

Raymond J. Lynch, Fei Ye, Quanhu Sheng, Zhiguo Zhao, Seth J. Karp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Allocation of livers for transplantation faces regulatory pressure to move toward broader sharing. A current proposal supported by the United Network for Organ Sharing Board of Directors relies on concentric circles, but its effect on socioeconomic inequities in access to transplant services is poorly understood. In this article, we offer a proposal that uses the state of donation as a unit of distribution, given that the state is a recognized unit of legal jurisdiction and socioeconomic health in many contexts. The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients liver simulated allocation model algorithm was used to generate comparative estimates of regional transplant volume and the impact of these considered changes with regard to vulnerable and high-risk patients on the waiting list and to disparities in wait-list access. State-based liver distribution outperforms the concentric circle models in overall system efficiency, reduced discards, and minimized flights for organs. Furthermore, the efflux of organs from areas of greater sociodemographic vulnerability and lesser wait-list access is more than 2-fold lower in a state-based model than in concentric circle alternatives. In summary, we propose that a state-based system offers a legally defensible, practical, and ethically sound alternative to geometric zones of organ distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)588-597
Number of pages10
JournalLiver Transplantation
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Hepatology
  • Transplantation

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