The kidney allocation system (KAS) altered pediatric candidate prioritization. We determined KAS's impact on pediatric kidney recipients by examining delayed graft function (DGF) rates from 2010 to 2016. A propensity score-matched pediatric recipients pre- and post-KAS. A semiparametric decomposition analysis estimated the contributions of KAS-related changes in donor characteristics and dialysis time on DGF rate. The unadjusted odds of DGF were 69% higher post-KAS for young (<10 years at listing) recipients (N = 1153, P = .02) but were not significantly increased for older pediatric (10-17 years at listing) recipients (N = 2624, P = .48). Post-KAS, young recipients received significantly fewer pediatric (<18 years) donor kidneys (21% vs 32%, P < .01) and had longer median pretransplant dialysis time (603 vs 435 days, P < .01). After propensity score matching, post-KAS status increased the odds of DGF in young recipients 71% (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.01-2.46). In decomposition analysis, 24% of the higher DGF rate post-KAS was attributable to donor characteristics and 19% to increased recipient dialysis time. In a confirmatory survival analysis, DGF was associated with a 2.2 times higher risk of graft failure (aHR2.28, 95% CI 1.46-3.54). In conclusion, KAS may lead to worse graft survival outcomes in children. Allocation changes should be considered.
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