Nephrology News & Issues Article “The 50 most active kidney transplant centers in 2016”

The 50 most active kidney transplant centers in 2016

Record number of organ transplants in the US shuffles ranking of transplant centers

University of California Davis Medical Center cracked the code as the busiest kidney transplant center in the U.S. in 2016, dethroning the University of California San Francisco Medical Center for the first time in seven years.

UC Davis’ #1 ranking among the 50 most active kidney transplant centers, published by NN&I since 2009, was aided by a three-month shutdown of UCSF’s transplant program after a donor death occurred in December 2015. The program reopened in March 2016 and still recorded 329 kidney transplants last year, moving to #5 in the ranking.

For 2016, UC Davis performed 402 kidney and kidney-pancreas transplants, based on data provided by the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network ( Both Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital (TX) and UCLA Medical Center maintained their #2 and #3 spots, respectively, from 2015.

Read also: The most active kidney transplant centers since 2009 

During 2016, 33,606 transplants were reported, representing an 8.5% increase over the 2015 total and an increase of 19.8% since 2012. Transplants have increased nearly 20% in the past five years. The growth in overall transplants was largely driven by an increase of 9.2% in the number of deceased donors from 2015 to 2016, continuing a six-year trend of annual increases. Approximately 82% (27,628) of the transplants involved organs from deceased donors. The remaining 18% (5,978) were performed with organs from living donors.

The data used in this ranking is provided by the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (, and includes deceased and living donor kidney and kidney/pancreas transplants. The OPTN recorded 9,116 deceased kidney donors in 2016 (8,250 in 2015) and 5,631 living kidney donors (5,630 in 2015), resulting in 5,630 living kidney donor transplants (5,628 in 2015) and 13,431 deceased donor kidney transplants in 2016 (12,250 in 2015). There were also 798 kidney/pancreas transplants in 2016 (719 in 2015).

50 busiest US kidney transplant centers in 2016

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It has been Nichole Jefferson‘s personal mission to tell her story and promote awareness. She was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in October 2003. At that time, not only was she unaware of what that meant; she also did not know she was a high-risk factor for developing the disease.
After the initial shock of the diagnosis, she decided peritoneal dialysis (PD) was the best option and utilized PD for a few years until she needed to switch to hemodialysis.
She received a kidney transplant from a deceased donor on June 12, 2008, but at the time, she didn’t realize it was simply another form of treatment and not a cure. Today, Nichole is waiting for a new transplant.
Nichole has worked with many advocacy groups on Capitol Hill and has provided her personal experience with ESRD to leaders in the field of nephrology. She tries to express the feelings of those who are unable or unwilling to speak for themselves.