Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Living Kidney "Paired Donation" a Success - Hopkins Study

--Results suggest technique can offer transplants to many more patients--

OCT. 4, 2005 - A Johns Hopkins study has affirmed the success of living kidney "paired donation" (KPD) as a means of efficiently finding more kidney donors who are a match for patients in need.

In the study, published in the Oct. 5 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, Hopkins surgeons report successfully performing KPD transplants on 21 out of 22 kidney patients whose willing donors were incompatible by matching them up with other incompatible pairs. Robert Montgomery, M.D., Ph.D., the director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center at Hopkins and lead researcher in the study, said the results could pave the way to a national matching registry that would enable hundreds and perhaps thousands of patients who cannot receive a kidney from a loved one to be transplanted by exchanging donors with a stranger.

"This is especially important," Montgomery said, "because it offers hope to patients who have compatibility issues that make it difficult for them to find suitable donors."

KPD is a process in which living incompatible donor-recipient pairs are matched with other living incompatible donor-recipient pairs in order to find successful matches. For example, an incompatible donor-recipient pair with blood types A and B, respectively, might be successfully matched with a donor-recipient pair who has the opposite incompatibility --- blood types B and A. The kidneys would be exchanged between the two pairs so that the A recipient then would receive an A kidney and the B recipient a B kidney.

Montgomery, an associate professor at Hopkins, said KPD is also effective with patients who have tissue incompatibilities. Tissue incompatibility can occur when a patient --- who has either been pregnant or had a blood transfusion or a previous transplant --- mounts an immune response against the foreign tissue. The condition, called HLA antigen sensitization, can cause a kidney to be rejected and make patients incompatible with donors who share their tissue type. As a result, donor matches are more difficult to find.

Full press release: Paired Donation

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