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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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TP American Journal of Transplantation Special Issue: 20th Annual State of the Art Winter Symposium, Jan. 9-12, Miami Beach - January 2020

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Can Behavioral Research Improve Transplant Decision-Making? A Mock Offer Study on the Role of Biopsies - Early Access abstract from Kidney360. - January 2020

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Free, Full-Text Articles from American Journal of Transplantation - January 2020

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Free, Full-Text Articles from Transplantation - January 2020

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Free, Full-Text Articles from Kidney International RepoINF rts - January 2020

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Solid Organ Donation after Death in the United States: Data-Driven Messaging to Encourage Potential Donors - Accepted Article abstract from American Journal of Transplantation. - January 9, 2020

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Intensive Home Hemodialysis Survival Comparable to Deceased Donor Kidney Transplantation - Free, full-text, Article in Press from Kidney International Reports. - January 8, 2020

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Online Patient Tool Is Associated with Increased Likelihood of Receiving Kidney Transplant - Press release from the American College of Surgeons. - January 8, 2020

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Less-Than-Perfect Kidneys Can Be Successfully Used for Transplants, Study Shows - Press release from Johns Hopkins Medicine. Free, full-text article from JAMA Network Open. - January 8, 2020

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Medicare Policy on Antirejection Drugs Imperils Kidney Transplants - Opinion piece from STAT. - January 8, 2020

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How Should We Manage Renal Transplant Patients with Failed Allografts Who Return to Dialysis? - Free, full-text, Online First article from Blood Purification. - January 7, 2020

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Three-Year Outcomes of a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study Assessing Safety and Efficacy of C1 Esterase Inhibitor for Prevention of Delayed Graft Function in Deceased Donor Kidney Transplant Recipients - Published Ahead of Print CJASN abstract and related editorial extract. - January 7, 2020

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Kidney Recipients May Get Much Needed Help — Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2019 Introduced In U.S. House of Representatives - Press releases from the American Society of Transplantation and the National Kidney Foundation. - January 6, 2020

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Impact of the Donor-Recipient Gender Matching on the Graft Survival from Live Donors - Free, Open Access Article from BMC Nephrology. - January 6, 2020

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Dual Kidney Transplantation Offers a Safe and Effective Way to Use Kidneys from Deceased Donors Older Than 70 Years - Free, Open Access article from BMC Nephrology. - January 6, 2020

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Easing Transplant Outcome Scrutiny: A Small but Welcome Step - (Registration required, but free.) Article from MedPage Today. - January 2, 2020

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New Rules to Help Organ Supply Crisis and Funding for Living Donors - Posting from the NKF's Advocacy in Action blog. - January 2, 2020

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One Size Does Not Fit All: Understanding Individual Living Kidney Donor Risk - Free, full-text, First Online article from Pediatric Nephrology. - January 2, 2020

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Mediterranean Diet May Help Preserve Kidney Function After Transplant - Article from HealthDayPress release and Published Ahead of Print CJASN abstract from the American Society of Nephrology. - January 2, 2020

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Inside the Murky World of India's Kidney Transplants - Article from The Week. - January 1, 2020

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Living-Donor Kidney Transplantation: Comparison of Sequential and Simultaneous Surgical Organizations - Online First Abstract from International Urology and Nephrology. - January 1, 2020

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Launching APOLLO: The Role of APOL1 Genetic Variants in Live and Deceased Donor Kidney Transplantation - Free, full-text, Article in Press from Kidney International Reports. - December 27, 2019

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Accepted Articles Abstracts from American Journal of Transplantation - December 24, 2019

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The Experience of Donating and Receiving a Kidney: A Systematic Review of Qualitative Studies - Early View abstract from Journal of Renal Care. - December 23, 2019

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Organ Procurement Organizations Conditions for Coverage: Revisions to the Outcome Measure Requirements for Organ Procurement Organization - Proposed rule from The Federal RegisterRelated article from Kidney News Online. - December 23, 2019

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Restricted Access Early Steroid Withdrawal in Deceased-Donor Kidney Transplant Recipients with Delayed Graft Function - Published Ahead of Print JASN abstract and editorial extract. - December 23, 2019

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Development and Outcomes of De Novo Donor Specific Antibodies in Low, Moderate and High Immunological Risk Kidney Transplant Recipients - Accepted Article abstracts from American Journal of Transplantation. - December 22, 2019

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The Gift - (2-page pdf) Essay from the Lancet. - December 21, 2019

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Functional Independence, Access to Kidney Transplantation and Waitlist Mortality - Advance Articles Abstract from NDT. - December 20, 2019

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CKD-MBD Post Kidney Transplantation - First Online abstract from Pediatric Nephrology. - December 19, 2019

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Senate Republicans Seek Probe of Organ Transplant System - Article from The Washington Post. Letter (7-page pdf) to the HHS OIG. - December 19, 2019

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Long-term Mortality Risks Among Living Kidney Donors in Kore - Articles in Press Abstract from American Journal of Kidney Diseases. - December 19, 2019

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Harnessing the Microbiota for Therapeutic Purposes - Accepted Article abstract from American Journal of Transplantation. - December 19, 2019

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Dangerous Bone Marrow, Organ Transplant Complication (CMV) Explained - Press release from Oregon Health & Science University. - December 19, 2019

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University Hospitals Employee Offers to Donate Kidney within Ten Minutes of Meeting Patient in Need - Press release from University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. - December 19, 2019

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Update on The Kidney Project (UCSF) - Posting from the The Kidney Project Facebook page (and web page). - December 18, 2019

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HHS Kidney Donation Proposed Rules Win Plaudits — Expected to Increase Transplants by 5,000 per Year - (Registration required, but free.) Article from MedPage Today. - December 18, 2019

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Administration To Overhaul Nation's Organ Transplant System To Minimize Waste, Increase Number Of Living Donors - News summary from Kaiser Health News. - December 18, 2019

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Is There Anyone in the Group That Does Not Want to Transplant? For Whatever Reason - Posting and over 130 responses from the Dialysis Discussion Uncensored Facebook page. - December 18, 2019

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KidneyX Solver Community - Tweet and web page from @KidneyX. For background, see Nov. 18 press release (3-page pdf) from ASN. - December 17, 2019

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Statement of American Society of Nephrology on Securing Funding for KidneyX - Press release. - December 17, 2019

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Trump Administration Proposes New Rules to Increase Accountability and Availability of the Organ Supply - HHS news release. Tweet thread from HHS Secretary Alex Azar. Press releases from the National Kidney Foundation and the American Society of Nephrology. - December 17, 2019

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Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) Conditions for Coverage Proposed Rule: Revisions to Outcome Measures for OPOs - CMS fact sheet. Tweet #1 and tweet #2 from CMS Administrator Seema Verma. News brief from the American Hospital Association. Articles from Healthcare DIVE and CNN. - December 17, 2019

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Personalizing Donor Kidney Selection — Choosing the Right Donor for the Right Recipient - Free, full-text, Published Ahead of Print CJASN article. - December 17, 2019

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Trump Administration To Announce Rules To Expand Number of Organ Donors, Crack Down on Wasted Donations - Tweet from reporter Dan Diamond. - December 16, 2019

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Expandng the Use of Hepatitis C Positive Donors and Keeping Recipient Safety at the Forefront - (5-page pdf) Accepted Article editorial from American Journal of Transplantation. - December 15, 2019

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APOL1 Long-term Kidney Transplantation Outcomes Network (APOLLO): Design and Rationale - Free, Full-Text, Article in Press from Kidney International Reports. - December 13, 2019

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News Releases from the National Kidney Foundation - November 2019

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eGenesis Announces $100 Million Series B Financing - Nov. 7 press release from the eGenesis web site. - November 7, 2019

  • Financing led by Fresenius Medical Care Ventures
  • Proceeds will be used to accelerate lead program in kidney xenotransplant into the clinic and progress a range of other xenotransplant programs across solid organ and cell therapy

June 2019 article from MIT Technology Review.
"... the company is currently testing organs from its pigs in monkeys at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston."

Dec. 20 article extract from STAT+ : "Creating Pig3.0, the World's Most CRISPR'd Animal, Raises Hopes of Transplantable Organs."
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Utilisation of Kidneys from Deceased Donors at Increased Risk of Infectious Disease Transmission: a Step in the Right Direction - Free, full-text article from Pediatric Nephrology. - October 30, 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

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 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.
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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