Health & Fit Transplant Livers May Need to Be Warm, Not Cool
Second face transplant for Frenchman in world-first
A man whose body rejected a face transplant he received seven years ago has been given a second donor face after living nearly two months without one, French medical agencies said Friday. It is the first time in transplant history that doctors have replaced one donor face with another, according to Olivier Bastien of France's biomedicine agency.
Packing with ice may soon be a thing of the past
Surgeons pack donated organs on ice while racing them to transplant patients but it may be time for a warmer approach. British researchers said Wednesday that keeping at least some livers at body temperature instead may work better.
The livers keep functioning until they're transplanted thanks to a machine that pumps them full of blood and nutrients. It's a life-support system for the organs, and similar machines are being explored for lung and heart transplants, too.
The transplant community isn't ditching affordable ice chests for the far pricier approach just yet. But proponents hope that storing organs in a way that mimics the body might eventually increase the number of transplants - by keeping precious donations usable for longer periods, and allowing use of some that today get thrown away.
Boy celebrates 3rd birthday after dispute over kidney transplant is resolved
A.J. Burgess celebrated his 3rd birthday last week after receiving a life-saving kidney transplant that was initially held up due to his father's probation violation.He was in desperate need of a kidney transplant, and his father, Anthony Dickerson, was a donor match. However, officials at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta told the boy's parents that a planned surgery on Oct. 3 was postponed due to a parole violation by Dickerson.
"The biggest challenge in liver transplantation is the desperate shortage of organs," said Dr. David Nasralla of the University of Oxford, who led the study in Britain and Europe. "We found that livers that went on the machine were more likely to be transplanted."
Nearly 115,000 people are on the waiting list for an organ transplant in the United States alone, and last year there were just 34,770 transplants performed. Thousands die waiting. Partly, there are too few donations. Also, donated organs can't be stored for long - about four to six hours for a heart or lung, and about 12 hours for a liver. And sometimes surgeons discard organs they fear won't do well because of a donor's age or other health characteristics.
Still, the vast majority of transplant recipients survive - showing the decidedly old-fashioned method of popping a donated organ into an ice chest with a cold preservation solution and rushing it to an operating room works pretty well. Organs essentially hibernate, not frozen but cold enough to slow cellular activity and thus their deterioration.
Cure for hepatitis C gives hope to kidney patients
Johns Hopkins researchers use drug that cures infectious liver disease to help dialysis patients Researchers from Johns Hopkins have figured out a way to cure kidneys infected with hepatitis C, which would allow them to be used for dialysis patients in desperate need of a transplant.In a small study, 10 kidney patients were treated before transplant surgery with an antiviral medication that prevents hepatitis C from replicating in the body, and continued receiving treatment for 12 weeks after transplant, according to Dr.
Wednesday's study highlights "the first radically different approach to organ preservation," said Dr. David Klassen of the United Network for Organ Sharing, which oversees the U.S. transplant system.
He isn't involved with studies of so-called "normothermic" preservation but calls it "really exciting technology" that might turn out to be appropriate for select organ donations rather than all of them.
The new study involved 220 liver transplants performed in Britain, Belgium, Germany and Spain. Participating hospitals randomly assigned newly donated livers to be put into coolers as usual - or to be stored for up to 24 hours in a machine made by Britain's OrganOx Ltd. that keeps the organs functioning with warm fluids.
The study wasn't big enough to detect any potential differences in patient survival. But the warmed livers were healthier when transplanted, the researchers reported in the journal Nature. They had less cellular damage during storage, a risk for transplant failure, than the livers kept on ice.
Doctors Tried Transplants Using Diseased Organs. One Year Later, the Recipients Are Still Disease-Free
In a new study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers gave 10 willing people, who were in need of a kidney transplant, kidneys that were infected with hepatitis-C, followed by medication known to clear the infection. All 10 remained free of the disease one year after their landmark transplants.In a new study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers gave 10 willing people, who were in need of a kidney transplant, kidneys that were infected with hepatitis-C, followed by medication known to clear the infection. All 10 remained free of the disease one year after their landmark transplants.
More compelling, surgeons preserved the warmed livers several hours longer yet discarded fewer of them, ultimately transplanting 20 percent more of those organs than the cooled ones, the study found.
Why? Instead of having to guess how well a liver would work based on its donor's characteristics, Nasralla said surgeons spent the extra time measuring how the organs functioned inside the warming machine. The study was funded by a European Commission grant.
The results are promising but surgeons are watching for more evidence that such a big, and expensive, change in organ storage is worthwhile - and if so, when best to use it, said Dr. Devin Eckhoff, transplant division director at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
OrganOx's liver machine is approved abroad but experimental in the U.S., where a similar study is underway at 14 transplant centers including Eckhoff's. A competing company, Massachusetts-based TransMedics Inc., recently won U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for warm preservation of donated lungs.
"It's clearly a lot more expensive than an ice box," acknowledged Oxford professor Peter Friend, who co-invented the OrganOx machine.
'Chewbacca' Tells Hospitalized 15-Year-Old He Will Receive Heart Transplant
Austin Eggleston's pediatric cardiologist Dr. Phillip Thrush promised the teen that when a heart was available, he would deliver the good news while wearing a Chewbacca costume.“We got a heart? Do we seriously have a heart?” 15-year-old Austin Eggleston of Pontiac, Ill., could be heard exclaiming at the Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago before jumping up and high-fiving Chewbacca.
Friend couldn't provide exact costs. He said more study is needed to tell whether spending thousands more up-front on high-tech organ preservation might prove cost-effective if it lets doctors save organs that otherwise would be wasted or postpone middle-of-the-night transplants until morning.
UNOS' Klassen says the bigger question is if scientists might use such machines to "recondition" organs, by adding medications or other therapies to make them healthier before transplant.
Gallery: 20 warning signs your kidneys send you (courtesy Best Life)
3 moms become 'scar sisters' after being living organ donors for daughters .
When Analy Navarro discovered her daughter needed a liver transplant, she felt overwhelmed. Then she met a friend who helped her through the experience.Uneasy, her parents took her to the doctor where Julia underwent numerous tests. That's when the Navarros learned some upsetting news: Julia had biliary atresia, a rare liver condition that occurs in infants. The bile ducts inside and outside of the liver are scarred and blocked; the bile cannot drain into the intestine and builds up, leading to liver damage. Experts don't know what causes it.
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Selena Gomez Speaks Out About Kidney Transplant From Her Best Friend Francia Raisa | TODAY
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