Developing algorithms to optimise paired kidney donation in the UK

Algorithms developed by our researchers have helped NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) tackle the complex problem of increasing the number of kidney transplants in the UK.

For people with end-stage renal failure, the most effective form of treatment is transplantation.

Dr David Manlove’s research team have developed sophisticated algorithms which allow the NHS to help patients who require a kidney transplant, and who have a willing but incompatible donor, to exchange their donor with that of another patient in a similar position, in what is known as a paired exchange.

By optimising kidney exchanges, our research has increased the number of transplants from paired donation by 40% between 2008 and 2013, when measured in comparison with the number of transplants that would have been possible with previous pairing techniques.

Dr Manlove’s work with NHSBT has translated not only into increased quality of life for patients freed from long term dialysis but will also lead to financial savings for the NHS due to patients being freed from long-term dialysis.

Shows how the kidney exchanges work: P=patient; d=donor

Shows how the kidney exchanges work: P=patient; d=donor

Related research