University scientists develop revolutionary new transplant procedure

Posted by pt91 at Mar 09, 2012 04:45 PM |
Transplant specialists are improving the quality of donor kidneys by flushing them with oxygenated blood prior to transplantation
University scientists develop revolutionary new transplant procedure

Credit: Matthew Roberts photography

 

The process has been termed normothermic perfusion and works by reversing the damage done to organs by storing them at low temperatures - optimizing early graft function so that they work better immediately after transplantation.

Professor Mike Nicholson of our Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation led the project for Kidney Research UK. It is part of ongoing research that Professor Nicholson and his team at the University and at Leicester's Hospitals have been working on into renal patients and transplants that has seen several successes already.

With kidneys that function well early on proven to last longer, normothermic perfusion could not only reduce rejection rates but also increase the lifespan of transplanted kidneys, which currently only last around 10 to 15 years.

Normothermic perfusion also has the potential to expand the organ donor pool and reduce the transplant waiting list by utilising more kidneys from marginal donors - people who have suffered uncontrolled cardiac death, as well as elderly donors and those with diabetes, hypertension or renal insufficiency.