OPTN/SRTR 2021 Annual Data Report: Deceased Organ Donation

Ajay K. Israni, David A. Zaun, Katrina Gauntt, Cory R. Schaffhausen, Warren T. McKinney, Jonathan M. Miller, Jon J. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients uses data collected by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network to calculate metrics such as donation rate, organ yield, and rate of organs recovered for transplant but not transplanted (ie, nonuse). In 2021, there were 13,862 deceased donors, a 10.1% increase from 12,588 in 2020, and an increase from 11,870 in 2019; this number has been increasing since 2010. The number of deceased donor transplants increased to 41,346 transplants in 2021, a 5.9% increase from 39,028 in 2020; this number has been increasing since 2012. The increase may be due in part to the rising number of deaths of young people amid the ongoing opioid epidemic. The number of organs transplanted included 9,702 left kidneys, 9,509 right kidneys, 551 en bloc kidneys, 964 pancreata, 8,595 livers, 96 intestines, 3,861 hearts, and 2,443 lungs. Compared with 2019, transplants of all organs except lungs increased in 2021, which is remarkable as this occurred despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, 2,951 left kidneys, 3,149 right kidneys, 184 en bloc kidneys, 343 pancreata, 945 liver, 1 intestine, 39 hearts, and 188 lungs were not used. These numbers suggest an opportunity to increase numbers of transplants by reducing nonused organs. Despite the pandemic, there was no dramatic increase in number of nonused organs and there was an increase in total numbers of donors and transplants. The new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services metrics for donation rate and transplant rate have also been described and vary across organ procurement organizations; the donation rate metric varied from 5.82 to 19.14 and the transplant rate metric varied from 18.7 to 60.0.

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Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier Inc.


  • Donation rate
  • eligible death
  • organ nonuse
  • organ yield

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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