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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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Non-Immunologic Allograft Loss in Pediatric Kidney Transplant Recipients - Free, full-text, educational review from Pediatric Nephrology. - February 2019

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Free, Full-Text Articles from American Journal of Transplantation - January 2019

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Screening Transplant Waitlist Candidates for Coronary Artery Disease - Published Ahead of Print CJASN Abstract/Extract. - January 2019

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Acute Kidney Injury in a Patient Following Kidney Transplantation - Free, Full-Text Article from American Journal Of Kidney Diseases. - January 2019

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Whistleblower in Kidney Trafficking Case Found Dead in Mumbai - Article from The Wire. - January 10, 2019

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African-Americans May Live Longer after Liver Transplant If Their Donors Are the Same Race - Press release from the American College of Surgeons. - January 10, 2019

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Novel Markers of Graft Outcome in a Cohort of Kidney Transplanted Patients: a Cohort Observational Study - First Online Abstract from Journal of Nephrology. - January 10, 2019

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Comorbidity, Frailty, and Waitlist Mortality among Kidney Transplant Candidates of All Ages - Online First Abstract from American Journal Of Nephrology. - January 9, 2019

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Short Stature in Advanced Pediatric CKD Is Associated with Faster Time to Reduced Kidney Function after Transplant - First Online abstract from Pediatric Nephrology. - January 9, 2019

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Standard Work-Up of the Low-Risk Kidney Transplant Candidate: a European Expert Survey of the ERA-EDTA Developing Education Science and Care for Renal Transplantation in European States Working Group - Advance Article abstract from NDT. - January 9, 2019

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What If We Paid People to Donate Their Kidneys to Strangers? - Opinion piece from The Washington Post. - January 8, 2019

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CMS: Medicare Will Pay for Post-Transplant Drugs Delivered to Hospital - News brief from the American Hospital Association. - January 8, 2019

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Accepted Articles Abstracts from the American Journal of Transplantation - January 7, 2019

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Baseline Graft Status Is a Critical Predictor of Kidney Graft Failure after Diarrhea - Advance Article abstract from NDT. - January 3, 2019

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Delivery of Initial Prescriptions of Immunosuppressive Drugs - Announcement from CMS. - January 3, 2019

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Study: The Kidney Shortage Kills More Than 40,000 People a Year - Article from Vox. Related editorial from the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. - January 2, 2019

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First Online Abstracts from Journal of Nephrology - January 2, 2019

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Skin Cancer Screening after Solid Organ Transplantation: Survey of Practices in Canada - Accepted Article abstract from American Journal of Transplantation. - January 2, 2019

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Updates to Immunosuppressive Guidance - CMS Program Transmittal notice (6-page pdf) effective April 3, 2019. - January 2, 2019

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Top Chinese Doctors Admit to Harvesting Organs From Falun Gong Practitioners - Article from The Epoch Times. - December 31, 2018

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Accepted Articles Abstracts from American Journal of Transplantation - December 27, 2018

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Gender Disparity in Health-Related Quality of Life and Fatigue after Living Renal Donation - Free, Open Access Article from BMC Nephrology. - December 27, 2018

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Free, Full-Text Articles from PLOS ONE - November 28, 2018 - December 27, 2018

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International Perspectives on the Ethics of Kidney Transplant - Posting from the Renal Fellow Network blog. - December 26, 2018

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Hemodialysis Vascular Access and Subsequent Transplantation: a Report from the ESPN/ERA-EDTA Registry - Free, full-text, First Online article from Pediatric Nephrology. - December 26, 2018

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Empagliflozin in Posttransplantation Diabetes Mellitus: a Prospective, Interventional Pilot Study on Glucose Metabolism, Fluid Volume and Patient Safety - Accepted Article abstract from American Journal of Transplantation. - December 26, 2018

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'Wallet Biopsy': Organ Transplant Often Depends on Patient's Finances - Article and video from CNN. - December 24, 2018

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Accepted Articles Abstracts from American Journal of Transplantation - December 23, 2018

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Phase Angle Is Associated With Handgrip Strength but Not With Sarcopenia in Kidney Transplantation Patients - Article in Press abstract from Journal of Renal Nutrition. - December 21, 2018

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100 People Transplanted Thanks to HOPE Act - Press release from United Network for Organ Sharing. - December 20, 2018

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Congress Eyes Intervention in US Organ Sharing Policy - (Registration required) Article from Modern Healthcare. - December 20, 2018

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Kidney Transplantation from Donors after Uncontrolled Circulatory Death: the Spanish Experience - Articles in Press Abstract from Kidney International. - December 20, 2018

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Myocardial Remodeling after Kidney Transplantation: a Case Report - Free, Open Access article from BMC Nephrology. - December 20, 2018

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20 Percent of Donated Kidneys Thrown Out - Video from WUSA9 (Washington, DC). - December 19, 2018

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From Dogs, Goats, and Pigs to Humans: The History of Kidney Transplantation - Posting from the Renal Fellow Network blog. - December 19, 2018

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Transplants Provide Better Outcomes Than Dialysis for End-Stage Kidney Disease - Press release from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). Latest data from the Canadian Organ Replacement Register (CORR) - December 18, 2018

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Risk of Incident Gout Following Kidney Transplant Recipients: a Retrospective Cohort Study - Abstract from the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases. - October 18, 2018

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Effect of Initial Immunosuppression on Long-Term Kidney Transplant Outcome in Immunological Low-Risk Patients - Advance Articles Abstract from NDT. - December 15, 2018

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The Importance of Drug Safety and Tolerability in the Development of New Immunosuppressive Therapy for Transplant Recipients - Accepted Article abstract from American Journal of Transplantation. - December 14, 2018

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Organs by Drone? Unmanned Flying Vehicles Could Soon Carry Body Parts for Human Transplants - Article from Newsweek. - December 13, 2018

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UK Organ Donors to Be Asked If They Are Religious - Article from the BBC. - December 13, 2018

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Response to "Restructuring the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Contract to Achieve Policy Coherence and Infrastructure Excellence" - Free, full-text, Early View editorial from American Journal of Transplantation. - December 1, 2018

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Kidney Transplant Surgery Video - 1m38sec Facebook video. - August 9, 2018

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
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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
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

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 2016 Annual Report: Transplant Data - 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
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 2016 Annual Report: Transplant Data - 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 These two web sites provide opposing viewpoints on xenotransplantation. Here is the the International Xenotransplantation Association.
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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