National Capital Area & Virginia

The National Kidney Foundation Salutes 2013 Kidney Ball Honoree:
MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute

Kidney Transplantation at MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute


Barbara Cullen (right) was the first patient at MedStar Georgetown to receive a living donor transplant from an incompatible donor, Mary Beth Mullen, using a technique called plasmapheresis.

MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute (MGTI) has one of the highest volume transplant programs in the United States, performing more than 5,000 kidney, liver, pancreas, small bowel, and multi-organ transplants.  Our rate of transplantation for those waiting for an organ is one of the highest in the country. Our one-year adult and pediatric graft survival rates are higher than any other transplant center in the mid-Atlantic region. MGTI is a collaboration between MedStar Washington Hospital Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, with kidney evaluation clinics at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar St. Mary's Hospital, and McLean, VA.

We have long used paired kidney exchanges among living donors to provide recipients with a compatible organ, even if they were incompatible with their intended donor:

  • 2001 - MedStar Washington Hospital Center performs its first paired kidney exchange
  • 2003 - MedStar Georgetown University Hospital establishes the only intestinal and multi-organ transplant program in the mid-Atlantic area
  • 2004 - First multi-organ (four) transplant in the Washington area
  • 2008 - First incompatible kidney transplant in the Washington area
  • 2009 - Donor kidney exchange performed at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
  • 2009 - MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and MedStar Washington Hospital Center perform two paired kidney exchanges—the first with seven donors and seven recipients, the largest of its kind to take place all within one city, and the second with 13 donors and 13 recipients, the world's largest at the time
  • In 2009, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital performed the nation's first incompatible kidney transplant on a patient with a previous intestinal transplant
  • In 2009, numbers released by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) show that Georgetown's kidney exchange program had increased the rate at which patients are transplanted and taken off the waiting list that was "statistically significant." Reflective of its kidney transplant team's philosophy to aggressively pursue transplants for their patients, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital's rate of kidney transplants doubled from 17% in 2008 to 32% in 2009, compared to the national rate of 19%.
  • 2010 - MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and MedStar Washington Hospital Center perform the world's largest paired kidney exchange with 14 donors and 14 recipients, breaking their previous record, and follow it five months later with an exchange involving 16 donors and 16 recipients.
  • Pioneering innovative procedures that expand the pool of available donors:
    • Dual process of plasmapheresis and IV immunoglobulin
    • Desensitize ABO- or HLA-incompatible kidney donor/recipient exchange
    • Live-donor laparoscopic kidney removal