Solid-organ Transplants From Living Donors: Cumulative United States Experience on 140,156 Living Donor Transplants Over 28 Years

R. W.G. Gruessner, A. C. Gruessner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Transplantation of organs from living donors helps to decrease the organ shortage and shortens waiting times. Living donor (LD) transplantation is also generally associated with better outcomes. Unfortunately, there has been no comprehensive analysis and comparison of all types of solid-organ transplantation from living donors since the inception of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). Methods: Using the UNOS/Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) database, all LD transplants from October 1, 1987, to December 31, 2015, were studied with univariate and multivariate analyses. Results: A total of 140,090 organs were transplanted from LDs, accounting for 21% of all transplants in the United States. Over 95% were kidney; 4% were liver; and <1% intestine, lung, and pancreas LDs. Only LD kidney transplant patient and graft survival rates were significantly higher compared deceased donor transplants over the period of analysis. The best long-term LD transplant results were achieved in pediatric liver recipients. Significantly more women than men donated organs and significantly more men than women received solid-organ transplants. A regional disparity was observed for LD kidney as well as for LD liver transplants. Despite improvements in outcomes and increased use of nonbiologic donors, the number of LD transplants in the United States has declined. This decline was greater in children than adults and was noted for all types of organ transplants. Conclusion: Further efforts are needed to educate the public, health professionals, and transplant candidates on the advantages of living vs deceased donor organ transplantation. Compared with other countries, LD transplantation has yet to reach its full potential in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3025-3035
Number of pages11
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number10
StatePublished - Dec 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation


Dive into the research topics of 'Solid-organ Transplants From Living Donors: Cumulative United States Experience on 140,156 Living Donor Transplants Over 28 Years'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this