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Patients on the kidney transplant waiting list with
potential living donors who are immunologically incompatible now have another option
besides continuing to search for another donor. At the National Kidney
Foundation’s Spring Clinical Meetings held here, Ajay Israni, Assistant
Professor of Medicine, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Epidemiology &
Community Health at the
It’s called the paired-exchange program, in which transplant
centers exchange information about incompatible donor pairs, and link up two
incompatible pairs that are compatible with each other. Last year, Israni
helped start a program that exchanges pair donor information between nine
different centers in the U.S. Midwest.
Similar programs have been established across the country,
and it’s now up to doctors to mention they exist to patients who have found an
incompatible donor and may not realize they have other options.
“Anytime you have a willing candidate and a willing donor,
but they are incompatible, that is a missed opportunity,” Israni says. “The
paired-exchange program takes advantage of that opportunity, and links up incompatible
pairs that may, with luck, be compatible with each other. Doctors need to be
aware of the closest exchange program to their facility, so they can mention it
if a donor pair doesn’t work.”
Israni will present details and the newest information about
pair-exchange programs from 1 to 1:30 PM on Wednesday, April 2, during session
#220: Transplant trends in the 21st Century.
Other U.S. programs include one based in New England and another at Johns Hopkins University, as well as through organizations like the Alliance for Paired Donation.
During his presentation, Israni will also describe how he
established a pair-exchange program, and some of the logistical challenges
For instance, transplant centers compete with each other for
patients – getting them to work together can involve some finessing, he says.
But it’s worth it: “It’s great to see transplant centers come together, since
it’s a great help to patients, and a great help to each facility, since a
successful pairing means two successful operations.”
The National Kidney Foundation is dedicated to preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation.
For more information on kidney disease visit www.kidney.org
Posted under: General Health
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