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Kidney transplants are the second most common transplant operation in the United States (over 16,500 cases per year - cornea transplants are first). Compared to heart, lung, or liver transplants, it is an easier and less complicated operation.

The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is the private organization that runs the US transplant system under a contract with the federal government.

Despite continuing advances in medicine and technology, the demand for kidneys drastically outstrips the number of donors. In 2013, there were over 96,000 persons on waiting lists for kidney transplants in the US.

There are two types of kidney transplantation: cadaveric and living donor. Cadaver organs are distributed to those on a waiting list based on criteria set forth by UNOS. Live donor transplantation has become increasingly common, due in large part to the success of the procedure and the shortage of cadaveric organs. Living donation allows the immediate transplantation of kidneys into recipients so operations can be scheduled electively once a suitable living donor has been identified. This avoids the long waiting times encountered with cadaveric donation. A new procedure, the laparoscopic nephrectomy, has greatly reduced the trauma and recovery period for a living donor.

Kidney transplant recipients usually must take immunosuppressants, or anti-rejection drugs, for the rest of their lives. Medicare coverage for these medications is currently limited to three years, but federal legislation has been introduced to extend coverage. Immunosuppressant medications run on average between $1,000 - $1,200 monthly.

Warning: Changes should never be made in a patient's treatment or care based solely on the information found here.  All patients have unique healthcare concerns and considerations and these must all be taken into account before any changes can be safely made.  All medical and therapeutic decisions must come from a qualified health care provider.  Read RenalWEB's Legal Disclaimer before proceeding.

  NEWS and LATEST ARTICLES

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Free, Full-Text Articles from Journal of Renal Nutrition - May 2019

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Free, Full-Text Articles from Transplantation - April 2019

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Bandages Will Not Fix a Fractured System of Chronic Kidney Disease Care: Why the Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act Cannot Be Supported by the Transplant Community - Free, full-text editorial from the American Journal of Transplantation. - April 2019

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Phase I Study of Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Belatacept in Adolescent Kidney Transplant Recipients - Free, full-text article from American Journal of Transplantation. - April 2019

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A New Edition of the Declaration of Istanbul: Updated Guidance to Combat Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism Worldwide - Free, Full-Text Article from Kidney International. - April 2019

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Process of Selecting and Educating HCV Uninfected Kidney Waiting-List Candidates for HCV infected Kidney Transplantation - Accepted Article abstract from Artificial Organs. - April 19, 2019

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Clinical Outcomes after ABO-Incompatible Renal Transplantation: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis - Online First abstract from The Lancet. - April 18, 2019

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Kidney Transplant Patients Need Even Better Aftercare! - Press release from ERA-EDTA. - April 18, 2019

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What You Might Not Know about Being an Organ Donor - Short video from the Mayo Clinic. - April 16, 2019

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Cardiovascular Disease in the Kidney Transplant Recipient: Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Management Strategies - Advance Article abstract from NDT. - April 15, 2019

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Ultraviolet and Red Light Kill Infections in Donor Organs - Article from MedGadget. - April 15, 2019

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Israeli Team Announces First 3D-Printed Heart Using Human Cells - Article from HealthDay. - April 15, 2019

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Living Transplant Donors Need Long-Term Monitoring, Too - Press release from University of California - San Francisco. Free, full-text article from JAMA Network Open. - April 12, 2019

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Management of Kidney Transplant Recipients by General Nephrologists: Core Curriculum 2019 - Free, Full-Text, Articles in Press from American Journal of Kidney Diseases. - April 10, 2019

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Donate Life Hollywood Reboot - KidneyTalk podcast from Renal Support Network. - April 8, 2019

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The Wait For A Kidney Can Be A Lot Longer If You're Not White - Article from New England Public Radio. - April 8, 2019

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Impact of U.S. Public Health Service Increased Risk Deceased Donor Designation on Organ Utilization - Accepted Article abstract from American Journal of Transplantation. - April 8, 2019

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This Doctor Saves Lives through Organ Transplants — and He's Also a World-Class Dancer - Article from From the Grapevine. - April 8, 2019

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Tribunal Hears Evidence on Forced Organ Harvesting in China - Article from NDT. - April 8, 2019

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New Organ Transplant Device Helping Boston Hospitals Transport Organs - Article from The Daily Free Press (Boston University). - April 8, 2019

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Selling My Own Kidney Should Be My Body, My Choice - Article from The Federalist. - April 4, 2019

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Hepatitis C Not A Barrier For Organ Transplantation, Study Finds - Article and audio from NPR. - April 3, 2019

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Racial Disparities Seen in Kidney Transplant for Highly Sensitized - Article from HealthDay. Press release from Yale University. Free, full-text Online First article and editorial extract from JAMA Surgery. - April 3, 2019

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Analysis of Extracellular Fluid Volume in Peritoneal Dialysis Patients before and after Kidney Transplantation - Online First Abstract from Blood Purification. - April 3, 2019

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Transplant Patients Need Anti-Rejection Drugs. Why Won't Insurers Pay for Some of Them? - Article from The New York Times. - April 2, 2019

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Nova Scotia To Become 1st in North America with Presumed Consent for Organ Donation - Article from the CBC. - April 2, 2019

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Limited Health Literacy Is Associated with Reduced Access to Kidney Transplantation - Articles in Press Abstract from Kidney International. - April 2, 2019

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One-Year Impact of Kidney Transplantation on Cardiac Abnormalities and Blood Pressure in Hemodialysis Patients - Accepted Articles Abstract from Therapeutic Apheresis and Dialysis. - April 2, 2019

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Obesity As a Barrier to Kidney Transplantation: Time to Eliminate the Body Weight Bias? - Early View abstract from Seminars in Dialysis. - April 2, 2019

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China's 'Genocide' Unlike Any Other - Article from La Croix International. - April 2, 2019

"The global community must act to end the forcible extraction of organs from prisoners of conscience."

Editor's note: See recent Fresenius Medical Care press release announcing business in China.

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Making Procurement Biopsies Important Again for Kidney Transplant Allocation - Free, full-text, Online First article from Nephron. - April 1, 2019

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Published Ahead of Print CJASN Abstracts - March 2019

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Prevention of Complications from Use of Conventional Immunosuppressants: a Critical Review - First Online abstract from Journal of Nephrology. - March 29, 2019

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Living-Donor Transplantation Leads to a Major Improvement in Physical Functioning: an Observational Study on the Impact on Potential Donors and Their Recipients - Free, Open Access Article from BMC Nephrology. - March 29, 2019

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World's First HIV-to-HIV Kidney Transplant with Living Donor Succeeds - Article from Kaiser Health News. Press release from Johns Hopkins Medicine. Article from CNN. - March 28, 2019

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Allocation of the Highest Quality Kidneys and Transplant Outcomes Under the New Kidney Allocation System - Free, full-text, Article in Press from American Journal of Kidney Diseases. - March 28, 2019

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Implementing a Tailored Education Program: Renal Transplant Recipients' Experiences - Early View abstract from Journal of Renal Care. - March 28, 2019

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Accepted Article Abstracts from American Journal Of Kidney Diseases - March 27, 2019

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April is National Donate Life Month - Notice and links from the Northwest Renal Network. - March 26, 2019

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CMS Proposes New Quality Metric - Free, full-text, article from American Journal of Transplantation. - March 25, 2019

"Some dialysis centers refer 75% of their patients to transplant centers, and others refer none."

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In UK, Transplant Service at 'Breaking Point' - Article from the BBC. - March 24, 2019

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Accepted Articles Abstracts from American Journal of Transplantation - March 23, 2019

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Kidney Transplantation in Septuagenarians: 70 Is the New 60! - Free, full-text, Article in Press from Kidney International Reports. - March 22, 2019

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St. Francis Hospital Ending Its Kidney Transplant Program - Articles and videos from KJRH.com and KTUL.com (Tulsa, OK). - March 20, 2019

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An Instrumental Variable Approach Quantifies and Confirms the Duration of Pretransplant Dialysis Has Negative Impact on Kidney Transplant Recipient Survival - Article in Press abstract from Kidney International. - March 19, 2019

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St. Francis Shuts Down Its Kidney Transplant Unit, Negatively Affecting Some Tulsans - Article and video from KTUL.com (OK). - March 18, 2019

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Value of Renal Gene Panel Diagnostics in Adults Waiting for Kidney Transplantation Due to Undetermined End-Stage Renal Disease - Free, Full-Text, Articles in Press from Kidney International - March 15, 2019

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Comparison of Organ Donation and Transplantation Rates between Opt-out and Opt-in Systems- Articles in Press Abstract from Kidney International. - March 15, 2019

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Statement of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) President Mark E. Rosenberg, M.D., FASN, on HHS Secretary Azar's Announcement on Immunosuppressive Coverage for Kidney Transplants - Press release. - March 15, 2019

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A Donor Risk Index for Graft Loss in Pediatric Living Donor Kidney Transplantation - Accepted Article abstract from American Journal of Transplantation. - March 15, 2019

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Cell Therapy Could Replace Need for Kidney Transplants - Press release from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. - March 14, 2019

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Antiviral Therapy Improves Survival Rates for Kidney Transplant Recipients with Hepatitis B or C - Press release from Journal of Hepatology. - March 14, 2019

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Potential Game-Changing Exchange: Extending Coverage for Immunosuppressant Drugs beyond 3-Year Limit for Patients after a Kidney Transplant Could Help Medicare - Article from Kidney News Online. - March 13, 2019

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Law Would Let Kansans Donate Organs Only to Kansans. Is That Legal? - Article from The Kansas City Star. - March 13, 2019

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The Non-Directed Living Kidney Donor: Why Donate to Strangers? - Early View abstract from Journal of Renal Care. - March 13, 2019

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Accepted Articles Abstracts from American Journal of Transplantation - March 12, 2019

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Dynamic Predictions of Long-Term Kidney Graft Failure: an Information Tool Promoting Patient-Centered Care - Advance Articles Abstract from NDT. - March 11, 2019

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Roger Penske Reveals He Received Kidney Transplant in Late 2017 - Article from Yahoo! Sports. - March 9, 2019

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Medicare Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage Bills—Can We Afford Them? - (6-page pdf) Free, full-text, Accepted Article from American Journal of Transplantation by Vanessa Grubbs, MD. - March 8, 2019

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Study Provides New Insights on Common Post-Transplant Condition - Press release and Published Ahead of Print JASN abstract from the American Society of Nephrology. - March 8, 2019

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Risks of Living Kidney Donation—Current State of Knowledge on Outcomes Important to Donors - Published Ahead of Print CJASN abstract and editorial extract. - March 7, 2019

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What is a Preemptive Kidney Transplant? - KidneyTalk podcast from Renal Support Network. - March 6, 2019

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Online First Abstracts from Transplantation - March 1, 2019

blue ball Latest transplant news from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
blue ball Kidney Transplant news stories from Yahoo! News - Continually Updated!
 
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  ANTI-REJECTION DRUG INFORMATION

blue ball Azathioprine ("Imuran") - Drug Info from Medline Plus. National Library of Medicine PubMED search results for azathioprine and kidney transplant Continually Updated!
Corticosteroids ("Prednisone" and many others) - Drug Info from The MedMaster™ Patient Drug Information database. National Library of Medicine PubMED search results for corticosteroids and kidney transplant Continually Updated! Search results for prednisone Continually Updated!
Cyclosporine ("Sandimmune" or "Neoral") - Drug Info from Medline Plus. National Library of Medicine PubMED search results for cyclosporine and kidney transplant Continually Updated!
Mycophenolate ("CellCept") - Drug Info from Medline Plus. National Library of Medicine PubMED search results for mycophenolate and kidney transplant Continually Updated!
blue ball Pycnogenol ("Zenapax®") - Drug Info from Medline Plus. National Library of Medicine PubMED search results for daclizumab and kidney transplant Continually Updated!
Sirolimus ("Rapamune®") - Drug Info from Medline Plus. National Library of Medicine PubMED search results for sirolimus and kidney transplant Continually Updated!
Tacrolimus ("Prograf" or FK506) - Drug Info from Medline Plus. National Library of Medicine PubMED search results for tacrolimus and kidney transplant Continually Updated!
 

  WEB RESOURCES

blue ball Latest Scientific Journal Articles on Kidney Transplantation
blue ball Alliance for Paired Donation web site
Bienvenido a Infórmate - kidney transplantation information for Hispanic/Latino patients from the National Kidney Foundation
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Booklet Advises Parents of Pediatric Transplant Patients - Resource (35-page pdf) from UNOS Transplant Living. - 2018

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Brochure Addresses Patients' Questions about Transplant Candidate Kidney Evaluation and Listing - PDF Resource from the United Network for Organ Sharing

Center and OPO Specific Reports from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients web site
blue ball Developing an Artificial Kidney with Dr. Morteza Ahmadi - 25-minute YouTube video that was part of the Demystifying Medicine Seminar Series in 2017. Dr. Ahmadi founded Qidni Labs in Canada in 2014.
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Evaluation of Kidney Donors: Core Curriculum 2018 - Free, Full-Text, Articles in Press from American Journal Of Kidney Disease - January 2018

Financial Assistance for Living Donors web site
The Gift that Heals: Stories of hope, renewal and transformation through organ and tissue donation - book by Reg Green
Guidelines for Preventing Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Through Transplantation of Human Tissue and Organs from the CDC - May 20, 1994
Help Hope Live web site
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How the Immune System Can Make Getting an Organ Transplant Trickier - Mayo Clinic Minute video. - January 29, 2019

How the Transplant Waiting List Works - Article from the Renal Support Network - April 2012
blue ball Hundreds of Interlaced Fingers: A Kidney Doctor's Search for the Perfect Match - A young, hopeful doctor's memoir (book) --an unforgettable love story and an informative journey into the world of medicine and kidney transplantation that ultimately asks: What does it mean to let go of something that you love, even if it is life itself?

The Jewish Kidney & Transplant Support Center - Advice and support for kidney transplant and dialysis patients

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Kidney Transplantation: The Patient’s Guide - KidneyTalk podcast from Renal Support Network. - August 15, 2018

Kidney/Pancreas Transplant Program from the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Kidney Transplant  web sites from Yahoo!
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Kidney Transplant eBook - by Dr. Leonardo V. Riella - September 2016

Living Kidney Donor Network
Living Kidney Donor Search
Living Kidney Donor Search Tools and Tips web site
Living Donors Online Message Board discussion page
Medical Complications of Kidney Transplantation (Hardcover) by Claudio Ponticelli (Editor) - January 2008
National Donor Memorial web site
National Foundation for Transplants web site
National Kidney Registry web site
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National Living Donor Assistance Center - Website developed by Transplant Informatics Institute, a subsidiary of UNOS.

National Service Framework for Renal Services: Part One - Dialysis and transplantation - Department of Health web site
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new Nutrition Care for Your Kidney Transplant - owner's manual from Journal of Renal Nutrition

Organ Donation Toolbox - from the Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance web site

Organdonor.gov video explains donation, transplantation processes

The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) weekly updated Waiting Lists for transplants.
blue ball OPTN / SRTR 2017 Annual Report: Introduction and OPTN/SRTR 2017 Annual Data Report: Kidney - Annual report from the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.
Organ Transplant from the University of Southern California web site
Pediatric Transplantation web site
Pregnancy After Transplant from the Transplant Living web site
Influenza and Transplant Recipients: Ways To Prevent And Treat - Conversations in Transplantation from the American Society of Transplantation - November 2010
Q&A on Living Donation from the NKF web site
Questions About Kidney Transplantation from TransWeb.org web site
blue ball Renal Transplantation - this is a growing library of key high-impact articles in nephrology, chosen by UKidney's contributors as suggested reading for nephrology trainees and practitioners.
The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) web site.
Top 10 Myths About Donation & Transplantation from TransWeb.org web site
Transplantation and Organ and Tissue Donors and Transplant Recipients from the NKF web site.
TransplantLiving - the patient's connection to the transplant community from UNOS
Update: Investigations of West Nile Virus Infections in Recipients of Organ Transplantation and Blood Transfusion - from MMWR - September 20, 2002
UNOS Corporate Annual Report from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
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UNOS Transplant Pro - website for transplant professionals

blue ball What Every Parent Needs to Know - booklet advises parents of pediatric transplant patients produced by the OPTN/UNOS Patient Affairs Committee
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newWhat You Might Not Know about Being an Organ Donor - Short video from the Mayo Clinic. - April 2019

Who is Eligible for Medicare? from the The Official U.S. Government Site for Medicare Information
 
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  ESSENTIALS AND CLASSICS

blue ball Evaluation of Kidney Donors: Core Curriculum 2018 from the American Journal of Kidney Disease
blue ball Transplantation Fact Sheet (pdf) from the American Nephrology Nurses’ Association
European Best Practice Guideline for Transplantation Part 1 and European Best Practice Guideline for Transplantation Part 2 - guidelines endorsed by the European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association (ERA-EDTA)
Treatment Methods for Kidney Failure: Kidney Transplantation from the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
End-Stage Renal Disease: Choosing a Treatment That's Right for You: Transplantation from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
HLA Matching from the University of Michigan Medical Center.
 
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  KDIGO™ -  Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes
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Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) web site

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  PUBMED SEARCHES

kidney transplant Continually Updated!
organ donor and kidney Continually Updated!
renal transplant and HLA matching Continually Updated!
kidney transplant and complications Continually Updated!
kidney transplant and rejection Continually Updated!
 
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  LAPAROSCOPIC NEPHRECTOMY

Live Doner Laparoscopic Nephrectomy For Kidney Transplantation - article from the University of Southern California Kidney Transplant Program.

Here is a listing of articles on the laparoscopic nephrectomy procedure from the latest scientific journals (PubMed search).

 
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  NON-DIRECTED DONATION AND "SWAPS"

 
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  STATISTICS

blue ball U.S. Facts About Kidney Transplantation from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) web site
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Organ Donation and Transplantation Dashboard resource available on the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) website

blue ball OPTN / SRTR 2017 Annual Report: Introduction and OPTN/SRTR 2017 Annual Data Report: Kidney - Annual report from the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.
blue ball Transplant Statistics: Center-Specific Reports from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) web site
 
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  UPCOMING EVENTS

blue ball Listing of North American Transplant Coordinators Organization (NATCO) Meetings
 
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  TRANSPLANT CENTERS

blue ball US Transplant Centers - from the OPTN web site
blue ball Transplant Statistics: Center-Specific Reports from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) web site
 
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  XENOTRANSPLANTATION, BIOTECH, AND STEM CELL RESEARCH

blue ball FDA Guidance for Industry on Xenotransplantation from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration
blue ball International Xenotransplantation Association. web site
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Kidney Xenotransplantation — Steps toward Clinical Application - Free, full-text, perspective piece from the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. - February 2019

blue ball U.S. Public Health Service Guideline on Infectious Disease Issues in Xenotransplantation from the Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) - August 24, 2001
blue ball Stem Cell Information - from the National Institutes of Health
blue ball Stem Cell Research - Full coverage page from Yahoo
blue ball Beyond Transplants: Growing Organs in the Lab from Popular Mechanics
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Interspecies Organogenesis-Derived Tissues for Transplantation - free, full-text articles from Transplantation - July 2017

blue ball 24-minute Video from The Kidney Project Facebook Page on their Implantable Artificial Kidney - This is a UCSF project headed by Shuvo Roy
 
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  DISCUSSION FORUM

blue ball General Nursing Discussion Forum - RenalWEB Discussion Forum
 
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  INPUT / SUGGESTIONS

blue ball E-mail to RenalWEB on the Transplantation Topic
 
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