Carli J. Lehr, M.D., from the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues studied the impact of the U.S. Public Health Service broadened definition of increased-risk donors (IRD; January 2014 through May 2017) versus high-risk donors (HRD; January 2006 to October 2013) and donors at standard infectious risk on lung transplant recipient outcomes.
The researchers identified 18,490 lung transplant recipients, 36 percent of whom received lungs during the IRD definition period. With the definition change, the proportion of donors classified as having nonstandard infectious risk increased (8 percent HRD versus 22 percent IRD; P
“Our findings raise the question of the utility of the designation of ‘increased risk’ for donor lungs, since there is no impact on outcomes,” Lehr said in a statement. “Forgoing the designation, treating all donors as potentially at risk, and using appropriate posttransplant screening for infectious diseases may increase overall organ utilization and lessen deaths on the waitlist.”