Innovation

Newer drugs make hepatitis C-positive kidneys safe for transplant

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People who received kidneys from donors infected with hepatitis C did not become ill with the virus, thanks to treatment with newer drugs that can cure the disease, a small study reports.

Ten patients not previously infected with hepatitis C took doses of powerful antiviral medications before and after receiving the transplants. None of the patients developed chronic infections, researchers report online March 6 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The finding could help make more kidneys available for transplants.

“If this increases access ...

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Study to look at extending heart transplantation donor pool

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With $4 million in funding from the Brockman Medical Research Foundation, surgeons and scientists at Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Heart Institute will study the utility of previously unused organs to increase the number of heart transplantations, potentially making transplant possible for thousands of patients who die while waiting for an acceptable heart to become available.

“Only 3,000 heart transplants are performed annually and several thousand people with end-stage heart failure who are on the waitlist and could benefit from a ...

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Text message intervention improves alcohol abstinence after liver transplantation

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Patients who received text message intervention regarding alcohol use after liver transplantation had better treatment outcomes than those who received standard care, and they reported high satisfaction with the intervention, according to a recently published study.

“Survival rates of patients who resume excessive drinking posttransplant are significantly lower than those of abstinent patients or patients who have a minor lapse post-transplant,” Kelly S. DeMartini, MD, of Yale University School of Medicine, Psychiatry, and colleagues wrote. “Abstinence duration of less than 6 months pre-transplant ...

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Using telehealth tools to increase organ donation

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New York has one of the lowest rates for organ donation in the country, a problem the state has been actively working on for the last few years.

In October, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a number of executive orders to work toward improving donation numbers. This included making “Lauren’s Law” permanent, which requires all drivers to verify whether they’ll become an organ donor before their license is processed.

But not only does New York need more willing organ donors, it ...

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Kidney transplant can reverse platelet dysfunction in end-state renal disease, new study shows

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Platelet dysfunction due to renal diseases such as Alport syndrome can be effectively reversed with a successful kidney transplant, according to a study published in the Clinical Kidney Journal.

It is common for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) to experience bleeding, more frequent bleeding into the skin, and bleeding from mucosal surfaces. Several disease-related and external factors are known to contribute to this.

Drugs such as anticoagulant agents used to prevent blood clots from forming during dialysis, gastrointestinal changes, and platelet dysfunction due to ...

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Man becomes first patient to receive a second face transplant

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Twelve years ago, a team of surgeons in France successfully completed the first-ever face transplant procedure. Unfortunately, seven years after the history-making surgery, the patient’s body rejected the transplant.

Since the rejection occurred, the patient has been living without a suitable alternative. In a risky move, surgeons decided to attempt to transplant a second face, this time from a different donor. It’s still too soon to say whether or not this transplant will be accepted, but the surgery itself was successful.

Rejection is likely ...

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Preventing hypoxic injury in transplanted kidneys

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A nephrology laboratory at University of California San Diego School of Medicine is currently investigating possible interventions to help prevent and treat hypoxic kidney injury to improve outcomes for kidney transplant patients. The lab, led by principal investigator Dianne McKay, MD, explains why it is important to understand these injuries and some interesting places they are finding answers.

Question: Why is understanding hypoxic injury important for transplantation?

Answer: All organs used for transplantation undergo hypoxic injury because the removal of the organ from ...

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Key found to making transplant rejection a thing of the past?

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Houston Methodist researchers have cracked a code in T-cells that could make autoimmune diseases and organ transplant rejection a thing of the past.

Wenhao Chen, Ph.D., a scientist in the Immunobiology and Transplant Science Center at the Houston Methodist Research Institute, and his colleagues have identified a critical switch that controls T-cell function and dysfunction and have discovered a pathway to target it.

Their findings are described in an article titled “Ablation of Transcription Factor IRF4 Promotes Transplant Acceptance by Driving Allogenic ...

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Giving young organ transplant recipients a mobile reminder that might save their lives

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In the U.S., more than 1,700 children receive organ transplants each year. Following transplantation, they must take immunosuppressants and steroids to protect their transplanted organ from being attacked by their own immune system.

But transplant teams know that kids are 60 percent more likely than adults to struggle with keeping a strict medication schedule. That puts the longevity of donated organs — and the lives of organ recipients — at unnecessary risk.

This challenge inspired a team of pediatric transplant experts at ...

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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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