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Last Updated 03/22/20
   

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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 American Journal of Transplantation - March 2020

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Supporting You During the Coronavirus Pandemic - Posting by National Kidney Foundation CEO and kidney transplant recipient, Kevin Longino. - March 19, 2020

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News CMS Guidance Identifies Transplants as Procedures That Should Not Be Postponed - March 18 tweet from the National Kidney Foundation. (This tweet addresses the next article – ‘A Death Sentence…’). - March 18, 2020

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‘A Death Sentence’: Critically ill Patients Denied Transplants Amid Coronavirus Outbreak - Article/video from NBC News.  Concerns of kidney transplant patient Chelsea Roman. - March 18, 2020

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Speaker: ‘Flawed Metrics Create Flawed Allocation Models’ in Kidney Transplantation - (Registration required, but free.) Article from Healio. - March 18, 2020

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Accepted Article Abstracts and Full-Text PDFs from American Journal of Transplantation - March 17, 2020

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Center Volume and Kidney Transplant Outcomes in Pediatric Patients - Free, Full-Text, Articles in Press from Kidney Medicine. - March 17, 2020

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Guidance on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for Transplant Clinicians - Update 16 March 2020 from The Transplantation Society. - March 16, 2020

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Online First Abstracts from Transplantation - March 12, 2020

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Early Blood Marker May Predict Future Risk of Kidney Transplant Failure - Press release and Published Ahead of Print JASN abstract from the American Society of Nephrology. - March 12, 2020

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus): FAQs for Organ Donation and Transplantation - (8-page pdf) March 11th information from the American Society of Transplantation. - March 11, 2020

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How Artificial Kidneys and Miniaturized Dialysis Could Save Millions of Lives - Free, Full-Text Article from Nature. - March 11, 2020

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The Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act (H.R. 5534) Passes House E&C Health Subcommittee - Posting from the NKF Advocacy in Action blog. - March 11, 2020

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Clinical Applications of Genetic Discoveries in Kidney Transplantation: A Review - Early Access abstract and full-text article (12-page pdf) from Kidney360. - March 11, 2020

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Proposed Metrics for Recertification of Organ Procurement Organizations: Evaluation by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients - Accepted Article abstract from American Journal  of Transplantation. - March 11, 2020

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Free, Open Access Articles from BMC Nephrology - March 11, 2020

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Update on UCSF’s Implantable Artificial Kidney - Facebook page posting from The Kidney Project. - March 10, 2020

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Novel Addition to Kidney Preservation Could Reduce Transplant Rejects - (Registration required, but free.)  Article from Medscape Nephrology. - March 10, 2020

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Managing Electrolyte Imbalances in Kidney Transplant Recipients - Article from Renal & Urology News. - March 10, 2020

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CMV Exposure at Transplantation Is an Independent Predictor of Thrombotic Events - Article from Infectious Disease Advisor. - March 9, 2020

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Articles from Healio (registration required) - March 8, 2020

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LKT200 Perfusion Circuit, Part of Lifeport Kidney Perfusion Transporter KTR - FDA recall notice. - March 4, 2020

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A Nationwide Evaluation of Deceased Donor Kidney Transplantation Indicates Detrimental Consequences of Early Graft Loss - Article in Press abstract from Kidney International. - February 28, 2020

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NKF Applauds Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage Legislation Introduced in the U.S. Senate - Press release from the National Kidney Foundation. - February 27, 2020

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Infographic: Improving Organ Viability - Information from the Mayo Clinic. - February 26, 2020

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Elderly Patients Also Benefit from Kidney Transplantation - Press release from ERA-EDTA. - February 26, 2020

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Study Identifies Variability in Transplant Process among Dialysis Centers, Patients - Article from Healio (registration required). - February 26, 2020

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Organ Donation: England Will Have “Opt-Out” System from May 2020 - Article extract from The BMJ. - February 25, 2020

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New Tool Aids Patients in Selecting a Transplant Center - Press release from the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institutue.  Website is transplantcentereasearch.org. - February 24, 2020

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Coronavirus Disease 2019: Implications of Emerging Infections for Transplantation - (14-page pdf)  Accepted Article personal viewpoint from American Journal of Transplantation (abstract). - February 24, 2020

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Use of Biomarkers to Improve Immunosuppressive Drug Development and Outcomes in Renal Organ Transplantation: A Meeting Report - Accepted Article abstract from American Journal of Transplantation. - February 24, 2020

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Baylor College of Medicine Publicly Endorses Medicare’s Proposed Rule on Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) Conditions for Coverage - Article from Kidney News Online. - February 2020

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Predicting Donor, Recipient and Graft Survival in Living Donor Kidney Transplantation to Inform Pretransplant Counselling: the Donor and Recipient Linked iPREDICTLIVING Tool – a Retrospective Study - Free, Open Access article from Transplant International. - January 22, 2020

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Desensitization Strategies: Is It Worth It? - Abstract from Transplant International. - September 25, 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!
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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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