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Kidney » Kidney Transplant

Kidney Transplant and an Incompatible Live Organ Donor- How Does This Work

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Think Kidney transplant. Finding a compatible donor for yourself or a loved one is a rigorous task that depends on a whole lot of luck. The struggle here is to find a donor, dead or alive, that matches you or your patient. And compatibility has always been an issue.

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A recent study disagrees.

This research I talk about shows how using the kidney of an incompatible donor improves the chances of healthy recovery of a patient undergoing kidney transplant surgery. If applicable practically, it could mean a paradigm shift and a huge change in the face of kidney disease patients in India and otherwise.

Another Chance for Kidney Transplant Patients???

Maybe!

Many patients die of their condition, waiting for a compatible kidney donor while not making any progress. This ‘incompatible donor’ theory could mean that they have a chance at recovery.

Kidney transplant via this procedure, however, works well in the highly sensitised candidates, suggesting that they have an actual fighting chance.

What Is a Sensitised Patient?

You see, some persons have too many immune system antibodies inside them. There is a huge chance that a strange organ inside their bodies would fall prey to extreme resistance.

In a sensitised patient, the chance of organ rejection is very high. People who have had transplants before or too many transfusions during dialysis or multiple pregnancies can also become sensitised patients.

How Would an Incompatible Donor Work?

A kidney transplant procedure with a non-matching donor is a tough one. The patient has to go through desensitisation therapies so the risk of attacks on the donor organ can be reduced.

The process of desensitisation is called Plasmapheresis. The antibodies that could attack the donor organ are cleared from the body of the patient. Any cases of antibody re-emergence are controlled by using immune reaction suppressing drugs. Plasmapheresis requires several repetitions before the surgery can happen and also afterwards, if necessary.

We Are Talking Long-Term Benefits Here

A current study led by Segev and team suggests that more than a third of the patients who accepted an incompatible kidney were alive and healthy after eight years of the procedure.

The study involved about a thousand sensitised patients in twenty-two hospitals and transplant centres. 76% of this group was alive after eight years of the surgery. This data stands tall as opposed to the 44% of Dialysis patients’ survival rate and that of 63% of those who received a dead donor’s organ.

There Are Risks Though

Given the circumstance and the patient type, there is a higher risk of organ rejection in the case of the incompatible organ than in a procedure that involves a matching kidney.

The excessive drugs used for suppressing immune response can cause infections. The whole process is complicated, and the desensitisation process elevates the total cost of the kidney transplant surgery.

It Presents Hope

If this procedure were to become standard practice, a lot of lives would be saved. The number of prospective donors for a kidney transplant would increase, and in return, the number of deaths because of the lack of an organ will decrease.

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