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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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Accepted Article Abstracts from the American Journal of Transplantation - April 17, 2020

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Kidney Transplant Programmes during the COVID-19 Pandemic - Online First correspondence from The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. - April 16, 2020

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Application of the 2017 KDIGO Guideline for the Evaluation and Care of Living Kidney Donors to Clinical Practice - Free, full-text, Published Ahead of Print CJASN article. - April 16, 2020

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Mortality and Morbidity in Kidney Transplant Recipients With a Failing Graft: A Matched Cohort Study - Free, Open Access article from Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease. - April 14, 2020

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Kidney Transplants From/To Extreme Elderly Feasible in ESRD - Article from HealthDay. - April 14, 2020

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Coronavirus Disease 2019: Utilizing an Ethical Framework for Rationing Absolutely Scarce Healthcare Resources in Transplant Allocation Decisions - (14-page pdf) Accepted Article personal viewpoint from American Journal of Transplantation (article info). - April 13, 2020

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COVID-19:  Organ Donation and Transplant Town Hall (April 13) - 1 hr 33 min YouTube video of International Webinar #2 presented by the American Society of Transplantation.  Also see resource handout (2-page pdf) and the AST COVID-19 page. - April 13, 2020

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20-Years Longitudinal Follow-up of Measured and Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate in Kidney Transplant Patients - Free, full-text, Advance Article from Clinical Kidney Journal. - April 13, 2020

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Posttransplant Outcome Assessments at Listing: LongTerm Outcomes Are More Important Than ShortTerm Outcomes - Accepted Article abstract from American Journal of Transplantation. - April 13, 2020

blue ball Metabolic Disorders with Kidney Transplant - Published Ahead of Print CJASN Abstract. - April 13, 2020
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Financial Feasibility Analysis of a Culturally and Linguistically Competent Hispanic Kidney Transplant Program - Online First abstract from Transplantation. - April 13, 2020

blue ball Impact of Obesity on Dialysis and Transplant and Its Management - Early View Abstract from Seminars in Dialysis- April 10, 2020
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The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Led To A Decrease In Organ Transplants - Article from Forbes. - April 9, 2020

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Patient Had Been Waiting for a Kidney. It Finally Arrived, But Coronavirus Stopped It - Article from Idaho Statesman. - April 9, 2020

blue ball Free, Full-Text, Article in Press from Kidney International - April 9, 2020
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ERA-EDTA Launches European Database (for COVID-19 cases) - Press release. - April 9, 2020

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Coronavirus Pressures ‘Put Organ Transplants at Risk’ - Article from the BBC on UK transplant practices. - April 9, 2020

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Kidney Transplant Outcomes Suffer at Clinics That Add Liver Transplants - Article from UCLA Anderson Review. - April 8, 2020

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Validation of Prognostic Index for Allograft Outcome in Kidney Transplant Recipients with Transplant Glomerulopathy - Free, full-text, Article in Press from Kidney International Reports. - April 8, 2020

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Kidney Transplants: A Look At One Borderline Essential Medical Procedure - Audio report (3 min 45 sec) from WBUR (Boston).  (Using kidneys from patients who have died of COVID-19 is not recommended.) - April 7, 2020

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COVID-19 and Solid Organ Transplant - News and resources for organ procurement organizations and transplant hospitals about COVID-19 from UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing). - April 7, 2020

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DESCARTES Expert Opinion Regarding the Management of Immunosuppressive Medication for Kidney Transplant Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic. - (2-page pdf) Document (April 6) from the ERA-EDTA COVID-19 web page. - April 6, 2020

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Prioritizing Transplants When Other Surgeries Are on Hold - Article from Medscape Nephrology (registration required). - April 6, 2020

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Home-Based Inspiratory Muscle Training in Pediatric Patients after Kidney Transplantation: a Randomized Clinical Trial - Online First abstract from Pediatric Nephrology. - April 6, 2020

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Model Shows Hep C-Infected Kidney Transplants Beneficial, Cost-Effective - Article from HealthDay. - April 6, 2020

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KDIGO Announces Publication of the Transplant Candidate Guideline - Press release from Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO). - April 6, 2020

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Management Of Patients On Dialysis And With Kidney Transplant During SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) Pandemic In Brescia, Italy - Free, full-text, Article in Press from Kidney International Reports. - April 4, 2020

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Still Considering Whether To Shut Down Your Transplant Program?  See This: - Tweet from Swapnil Hiremath. - April 4, 2020

blue ball Accepted Article Abstracts and Full-Text PDFs from American Journal of Transplantation - April 3, 2020
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The Role of Telemedicine in Kidney Transplantation: Opportunities and Challenges - (15-page pdf) Free, full-text, Published Ahead of Print article from Kidney360 (article info). - April 3, 2020

blue ball Free, Full-Text, Accepted Articles PDFs from American Journal of Transplantation - March 31, 2020
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Kidney Transplant Recipients Losing Their Jobs and Health Insurance; Many Cannot Afford Immunosuppressants and Will Return to Dialysis - Tweet from Christos Argyropoulos. - March 31, 2020

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Accuracy and Concordance of Measurement Methods To Assess Non-Adherence after Renal Transplantation – a Prospective Study - Free, Open Access Article from BMC Nephrology.  - March 31, 2020

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Patient Message on Coronavirus and Transplants - 2-minute YouTube video by American Kidney Fund’s Mike Spigler, VP of Patient Services and Kidney Disease Education. - March 30, 2020

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Viable Organs from Deceased Donors Go Unused as Ontario Hospitals Pause Some Transplants - Article from the CBC. - March 30, 2020

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Transplant and COVID-19 - Page from Nephrology Journal Club. - March 28, 2020

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Organ Transplant: ‘Essential’ Surgery in a Time of Pandemic - (Registration required, but free.)  Article from MedPage Today. - March 26, 2020

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Distance to Transplant Center and Likelihood of Being Considered for Transplantation - Press release, free, full-text, Published Ahead of Print CJASN articleeditorial, and Patient Voice piece from the American Society of Nephrology. - March 24, 2020

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Reversal of Asymptomatic Cardiac Dysfunction Following Renal Transplantation - Free, full-text, Advance Article from Clinical Kidney Journal. - March 24, 2020

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Webinar: COVID 19 Organ Donation and Transplant Town Hall - YouTube 2-hour presentation recorded on March 23rd.  A number of transplant organizations from around the world partnered to develop this educational webinar for the organ donation and transplantation communities. They share experiences to date and respond to questions about the impact of COVID-19 on organ donation and transplantation. - March 23, 2020

blue ball Transplant Decisions Complicated by Donor COVID-19 Unknowns - Article from Medscape Nephrology (registration required). - March 23, 2020
blue ball Accepted Article Abstract and Full-Text Articles (PDFs) from American Journal of Transplantation - March 23, 2020
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COVID-19 Information and Guidance for Children on Haemodialysis, Peritoneal Dialysis and Immune suppression (including Renal Transplants) - Resource from The Renal Association (UK). - March 20, 2020

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Policy Challenges for Organ Allocation in an Era of “Precision Medicine” - Free, Open Access Articles from Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease. - March 20, 2020

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Free, Full-Text, Articles in Press from American Journal of Kidney Diseases - March 19, 2020

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!
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A Guide to Immunosuppression in Transplantation - Posting from the Renal Fellow Network blog. - September 2019

 

  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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Expert Alert: The Ultimate Gift — Five Things to Know about Being a Living Kidney Donor - Article from the Mayo Clinic. - December 2019

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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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Hospital Organ Donation Campaign Toolkit from OrganDonor.gov. - November 2019

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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

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Living Donors: Practical Information from DPC and NKF - Notice from the Northwest Renal Network.

Living Kidney Donor Network
Living Kidney Donor Search
Living Kidney Donor Search Tools and Tips web site
Living Donors Online Message Board discussion page
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Management of Kidney Transplant Recipients by General Nephrologists: Core Curriculum 2019 - Free, Full-Text Articles from American Journal Of Kidney Diseases

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Medical Advisory Council (MAC) Transplant Toolkit from the The Forum of ESRD Networks

Medical Complications of Kidney Transplantation (Hardcover) by Claudio Ponticelli (Editor) - January 2008
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MLN Matters: New to State Operations Manual (SOM), Appendix X, Survey Protocol and Interpretive Guidelines for Organ Transplant Programs - Notice and link to 55-page pdf. - May 2019

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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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

The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) weekly updated Waiting Lists for transplants.
blue ball OPTN / SRTR 2018 Annual Report: Introduction and OPTN/SRTR 2018 Annual Data Report: Kidney - Annual report from the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.
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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What 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

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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