Brain remaps itself in child with double hand transplant

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The first child to undergo a successful hand transplant also is the first child in whom scientists have detected massive changes in how sensations from the hands are represented in the brain. The brain reorganization is thought to have begun six years before the transplant, when the child had both hands amputated because of a severe infection during infancy. Notably, after he received transplanted hands, the patient’s brain reverted toward a more typical pattern.

Each area of the body that receives ...

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How to make 174 more donor kidneys available per year

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Broadening the geographic range where a number of deceased-donor kidneys would be available would increase the number of transplants, research suggests.

This shift would also improve the lives of patients unlikely to receive one based on where they live, according to the new study.

“The problem is there is a big disparity across different geographies,” says Mazhar Arikan, associate professor of supply chain management in the University of Kansas School of Business. “In more congested or populous regions, the patients have a ...

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German scientists develop new nuclear medicine test to identify kidney transplant infection

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German scientists have developed a novel nuclear medicine test that can determine whether a kidney transplant patient has developed infection in the transplanted tissue. The study, which utilizes positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI), is presented in the December issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Complicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur frequently in patients after kidney transplantation due to suppression of the immune system and may lead to transplant failure or sepsis. Detecting the source and extent of infection–especially whether the ...

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High-speed jet to quicken organ transplant delivery

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Donations of vital human organs like hearts and livers will happen faster and more reliably for patients in and around Utah. That’s because of a recently acquired high-speed jet at Intermountain Life Flight.

The new aircraft is a Cessna CJ4. It’s filled with medical equipment and storage, kind of like a flying ICU. Life Flight bought the jet last year and recently finished outfitting it for organ transport.

Tracy Schmidt is the executive director of Intermountain Donor Services, the group that retrieves donated organs ...

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DAAs prove effective for HCV-infected heart transplant patients

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Direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs proved safe and effective for hepatitis C (HCV) patients who had undergone heart transplants, according to new research.

Jia-Horng Kao, MD, PhD, FAASLD, and a team from the National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei, found that 12 individuals given sofosbuvir combined with ledipasvir (Harvoni) or sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) combined with daclatasvir (Daklinza) achieved a sustained virologic response rate of 100% after 12 weeks.

Interferon-free DAAs have shown excellent efficacy and safety for ordinary patients with chronic HCV infection, the researchers ...

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In some patients, hepatitis C best treated after transplant

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Direct-acting antiviral drugs can eradicate the hepatitis C virus, even in patients with advanced liver decompensation. But their outcomes may be better if treatment occurs after transplant, according to a recent study looking at this issue.

The goal of the study was to determine when life expectancy was improved with DAA treatment, before or after liver transplant. One reason these may differ is that the trade-off for improved liver function with early treatment is the risk for delay—or even delisting for ...

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UNOS searches for a fairer way to distribute donor livers

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More than 16,000 Americans are waiting for a liver transplant because of conditions such as hepatitis, cancer or cirrhosis. But only about 7,000 livers are donated each year. Most patients know their odds aren’t great.

And their chances also vary based on where they live.

“In some areas of the country, patients have to wait a lot longer than in other areas,” says Julie Heimbach, a transplant surgeon at the Mayo Clinic. “They have to get much sicker before they can access a liver ...

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How first “kidney vouchers” led to 25 lifesaving transplants

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In 2014 a former judge from San Diego County approached the UCLA Kidney Transplant Program with an unusual request: If the judge donated a kidney to a stranger now, could his then 4-year-old grandson, who suffered from chronic kidney disease, receive priority for a future kidney transplant if needed later in life?

The suggestion from Howard Broadman, then 64 years old, initiated the kidney “voucher” program, an innovative system allowing living donors to donate a kidney now, or at some time in the ...

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World’s First 3-D Printed Tibia Transplanted

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Surgeons in Australia have successfully performed a world-first transplant surgery, installing a 3D printed tibia into the leg of Reuben Lichter, who faced losing his leg above the knee to amputation. The 3D printed tibia was wrapped in blood vessels and leg tissue from both of his legs. Just over two weeks ago, in the last in a series of five surgeries, the procedure was declared a success. For the next nine months at least, the doctors hope to observe ...

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Heat therapy may aid treatment of cancer, organ transplants and autoimmune disease

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Heat therapy may be a promising treatment in the fight against cancer, autoimmune problems and efforts to avoid organ rejection in transplant patients, according to researchers at the University of Kentucky. The research team exposed colorectal cancer cells and T-cells—immune cells that fight disease—to temperatures lower (hypothermic) and higher (hyperthermic) than normal body temperatures. They observed the effects of these temperature changes on the energy production (bioenergetics) in both cell types. They will present their findings at the American Physiological ...

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