Living Donor Research

Could Kidney Graft Survival Be Genetics (in part)?

A study recently published in the American Journal of Transplantion reveals that kidneys from donors with two APOL1 genes (one from each parent) had significantly shorter graft survival than kidneys from donors with one copy of the gene, or none at all.

APOL1 is a gene usually found in African-Americans and is strongly associated with nephropathy (kidney disease). If this result can be duplicated and confirmed, testing for this gene could reduce the risks to potential living donors as well as improve quality transplants for recipients.

Press Release about aforementioned study.

Organ Allocation

Patient Got the Wrong Kidney at USC

You’re gonna want to read the whole thing:

USC University Hospital halted kidney transplants last month after a kidney was accidentally transplanted into the wrong patient, according to a spokesman for the program that coordinates organ transplants in Los Angeles.

And here’s my favorite quote:

As of late Thursday, USC hospital’s website still listed kidney transplants among its services and there was no obvious notice to patients or the public that the program had been suspended.

So imagine being a patient awaiting a transplant registered at USC. During that month, an organ could’ve become available, but you would’ve been passed over because someone(s) at USC screwed up.

Deceased Organ Donation

Scientists Create an Artificial Kidney

I think my favorite part is that the person’s blood pressure powers it.

I corrected the author on her assertion that transplant is the ‘only’ treatment for kidney failure. Um, dialysis anyone? These small errors are how bigger misconceptions are repeated and eventually become ‘facts’ in the public’s mind, so it’s always good to be vigilant.