The UNOS OPTN (Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network) waiting list: 1988 through November 30, 1992.Clin Transpl. 1992CT
Based on data from the OPTN Waiting List and the Scientific Registry between 1988 and 1992: 1. The number of registrations on the overall waiting list increased by 81% between December 31, 1988 and November 30, 1992. On November 30, 1992, there were 29,047 registrations for a transplant in the United States. Organ-specific waiting lists showing strong increases during the period were lung (1,277%), liver (262%), and heart (162%). The number of heart-lung registrants decreased during the period. 2. Overall, Whites comprised the largest percentage of waiting-list registrants, followed by Blacks and Hispanics. This frequency distribution remained relatively constant between 1988 and 1991. On the organ-specific waiting lists, the percentage of Whites ranged from 80% on the liver waiting list to 90% on the pancreas waiting list. Blacks make up about 12% of the United States population, but about 32% of the kidney waiting list, due to the high incidence of end-stage renal disease among Blacks in the United States. 3. The frequency distribution of age on the waiting lists is shifting toward a greater proportion of potential recipients age 45 or older. This trend was especially true for the liver, lung, and pancreas waiting lists. 4. The percentage of highly sensitized registrants (PRA > or = 80%) on the kidney waiting list decreased by 8% between 1988 and 1991. The percentage of registrants with PRA less than 20% increased by 11.3%, probably as a result of longer waiting times for low-PRA registrants. 5. A result of the growth of the waiting lists was an increase in the median waiting time to transplant during the period. This effect was observed on every waiting list except the heart-lung. The wait for a liver transplant was the shortest (67 days in 1991), whereas the wait for a heart-lung transplant was the longest (543 days in 1990). 6. The overall death rate remained relatively stable, but was up slightly in 1991, when 6.1% of registrants died while waiting for a transplant (compared with 5.6% in 1990). The death rate on the heart-lung waiting list fell from 23.5% in 1988 to 14.8% in 1991, probably because of fewer heart-lung registrations. In 1991, the death rates were highest on the thoracic waiting lists (11.7-14.8%), followed by liver (9.3%), kidney (3.7%), and pancreas (3.0%). 7. The percentage of patients in the most urgent medical status categories remained stable on the heart waiting list and has decreased on the liver waiting list.