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Mathur A.K.,University of Michigan | Ashby V.B.,University of Michigan | Sands R.L.,University of Michigan | Wolfe R.A.,Arbor Research Collaborative for Health
American Journal of Transplantation | Year: 2010

The effect of demand for kidney transplantation, measured by end-stage renal disease (ESRD) incidence, on access to transplantation is unknown. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (OPTN/SRTR) from 2000 to 2008, we performed donation service area (DSA) and patient-level regression analyses to assess the effect of ESRD incidence on access to the kidney waiting list and deceased donor kidney transplantation. In DSAs, ESRD incidence increased with greater density of high ESRD incidence racial groups (African Americans and Native Americans). Wait-list and transplant rates were relatively lower in high ESRD incidence DSAs, but wait-list rates were not drastically affected by ESRD incidence at the patient level. Compared to low ESRD areas, high ESRD areas were associated with lower adjusted transplant rates among all ESRD patients (RR 0.68, 95% CI 0.66-0.70). Patients living in medium and high ESRD areas had lower transplant rates from the waiting list compared to those in low ESRD areas (medium: RR 0.68, 95% CI 0.66-0.69; high: RR 0.63, 95% CI 0.61-0.65). Geographic variation in access to kidney transplant is in part mediated by local ESRD incidence, which has implications for allocation policy development. © 2010 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. Source

Merion R.M.,University of Michigan | Merion R.M.,Arbor Research Collaborative for Health
Seminars in Liver Disease | Year: 2010

Liver transplantation has rapidly advanced from an experimental therapy to a mainstream treatment option for a wide range of acute and chronic liver diseases. Indications for liver transplant have evolved to include previously contraindicated conditions such as hepatocellular carcinoma and alcohol-related liver disease. Cirrhosis from chronic hepatitis C infection remains the most common indication today. Multidisciplinary evaluation for liver transplantation is intended to confirm the patient's suitability and identify the appropriate timing of transplant, although the latter is problematic as a result of the ongoing donor organ shortage. Deceased liver donors have been increasing in number, but increasing donor age has been associated with less satisfactory posttransplant results. Living donor liver transplant is a dramatic but very infrequent procedure; risk to the living donor is of paramount concern. The main focus of deceased donor allocation has transitioned from waiting time to estimation of the likelihood of death without transplant (medical urgency), and now relies upon a laboratory-based Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score for candidates with chronic liver disease. Those with acute liver failure are prioritized ahead of those with chronic conditions. Although not used as a direct criterion for allocation, development of the concept of transplant survival benefit, i.e., the extra years of life attributable to transplant, has facilitated better ordering of those candidates likely to have the most benefit, while restricting access to those whose lives will be extended minimally or not at all. Overall posttransplant outcomes have steadily improved, with unadjusted 5-year patient survival rates of 77% among patients transplanted with MELD score between 15 and 20, and 72% for those with MELD scores between 21 and 30. Copyright © 2010 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc. Source

Port F.K.,Arbor Research Collaborative for Health
American Journal of Kidney Diseases | Year: 2014

When randomized controlled trials are unavailable, clinicians have to rely on observational studies. However, analyses using observational data to evaluate specific treatments and their associations with outcomes often are biased through confounding by clinical indication for the treatment of interest. Given the rich observational data and limited clinical trial data available in the dialysis population, successfully accounting for this bias can lead to substantial knowledge generation. In recent decades, much has been learned about statistical methods for observational data, including the fact that even extensive adjustments may not always overcome this bias, particularly when unmeasured confounders exist. In this article, examples based on the international DOPPS (Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study) are used to demonstrate the value of practice-based instrumental variable analyses. This methodology leverages the marked differences in practice patterns among dialysis facilities and uses the reasonable assumption that patients are assigned to a dialysis facility without consideration of its specific treatment pattern in order to minimize bias in analyses relying on observational data. Examples using the dialysis facility as an instrument that are reviewed in depth in this article include studies of dialysate sodium concentration, systolic blood pressure targets, and treatment time, demonstrate the value of this methodology to produce advanced knowledge. However, practice-based analyses have potentialLimitations. Specifically, observation of sufficiently large differences in practice patterns is required and these analyses should consider that the treatment of interest may be associated with other facility treatment practices. These examples from the DOPPS hopefully will stimulate advances in methodologies and critical clinical work toward improving patient care by identifying beneficial treatment practices applicable to dialysis, chronic kidney disease, and beyond. © 2014 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. Source

Ramirez S.P.,Arbor Research Collaborative for Health
Clinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology : CJASN | Year: 2012

When hemodialysis dose is scaled to body water (V), women typically receive a greater dose than men, but their survival is not better given a similar dose. This study sought to determine whether rescaling dose to body surface area (SA) might reveal different associations among dose, sex, and mortality. Single-pool Kt/V (spKt/V), equilibrated Kt/V, and standard Kt/V (stdKt/V) were computed using urea kinetic modeling on a prevalent cohort of 7229 patients undergoing thrice-weekly hemodialysis. Data were obtained from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 2008 ESRD Clinical Performance Measures Project. SA-normalized stdKt/V (SAN-stdKt/V) was calculated as stdKt/V × ratio of anthropometric volume to SA/17.5. Patients were grouped into sex-specific dose quintiles (reference: quintile 1 for men). Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for 1-year mortality were calculated using Cox regression. spKt/V was higher in women (1.7 ± 0.3) than in men (1.5 ± 0.2; P<0.001), but SAN-stdKt/V was lower (women: 2.3 ± 0.2; men: 2.5 ± 0.3; P<0.001). For both sexes, mortality decreased as spKt/V increased, until spKt/V was 1.6-1.7 (quintile 4 for men: HR, 0.62; quintile 3 for women: HR, 0.64); no benefit was observed with higher spKt/V. HR for mortality decreased further at higher SAN-stdKt/V in both sexes (quintile 5 for men: HR, 0.69; quintile 5 for women: HR, 0.60). SA-based dialysis dose results in dose-mortality relationships substantially different from those with volume-based dosing. SAN-stdKt/V analyses suggest women may be relatively underdosed when treated by V-based dosing. SAN-stdKt/V as a measure for dialysis dose may warrant further study. Source

Pisoni R.L.,Arbor Research Collaborative for Health | Zepel L.,Arbor Research Collaborative for Health | Port F.K.,Arbor Research Collaborative for Health | Robinson B.M.,Arbor Research Collaborative for Health | Robinson B.M.,University of Michigan
American Journal of Kidney Diseases | Year: 2015

Background Since the bundled end-stage renal disease prospective payment system began in 2011 in the United States, some hemodialysis practices have changed substantially, raising the question of whether vascular access practice also has changed. We describe monthly US vascular access use from August 2010 to August 2013 with international comparisons, and other aspects of US vascular access practice. Study Design Prospective observational cohort study of vascular access. Setting & Participants Maintenance hemodialysis patients in the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study (DOPPS) Practice Monitor (DPM) in the United States (N = 3,442; US patients) and 19 other nations (N = 8,478). Predictors Country, patient demographics, time period. Outcomes Vascular access use, pre-end-stage renal disease access timing of first nephrologist care and arteriovenous access placement, patient self-reported vascular access preferences (United States only), treatment practices as stated by medical directors. Results In the United States from August 2010 to August 2013, arteriovenous fistula (AVF) use increased from 63% to 68%, while catheter use declined from 19% to 15%. Although AVF use did not differ greatly across age groups, arteriovenous graft use was 2-fold higher among black (26%) versus nonblack US patients (13%) in 2013. Across 20 countries in 2013, AVF use ranged from 49% to 92%, whereas catheter use ranged from 1% to 45%. Patient-reported vascular access preferences differed by sex and race, with 16% to 20% of patients feeling uninformed regarding benefits/risks of different vascular access types. Among new (incident) US hemodialysis patients, AVF use remains low, with ∼70% initiating hemodialysis therapy with a catheter (60% starting with catheter when having ≥4 months of predialysis nephrology care). In the United States, longer typical times to first AVF cannulation were reported. Limitations Noncompletion of surveys may affect the generalizability of findings to the wider hemodialysis population. Conclusions AVF use has increased, with catheter use decreasing among prevalent US hemodialysis patients since the introduction of the prospective payment system. However, AVF use at dialysis therapy initiation remains low, suggesting that reforms affecting predialysis care may be necessary to incentivize improvements in fistula rates at dialysis therapy initiation as achieved for prevalent hemodialysis patients. © 2015 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. Source

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