Carolinas HealthCare System

Kidney Transplant Program Highlights

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Paired Kidney Donation

If you are found to be ABO incompatible (not the right blood type) or have a positive crossmatch with your intended donor related to antibodies in your system, paired donation offers an option of finding another "pair" who are in your same situation. The hope is to then be able to "swap" kidneys so both pairs receive a healthy, compatible kidney. For more information, visit the Paired Kidney Network.

Positive Crossmatch Protocols

The Transplant Center also offers services to the estimated 30 percent of patients waiting for kidney transplants who have become sensitized (developed antibodies to foreign tissue.) Sensitized patients are at far greater risk for organ rejection because their antibodies are more likely to harm an otherwise suitable kidney.

Carolinas Medical Center uses plasmapheresis, which removes harmful antibodies and replaces them with fresh frozen plasma. After this treatment, an intravenous medicine called immune globulin is administered to help prevent the recurrence of antibodies. Depending on the amount of antibodies present, a patient might receive several treatments prior to the transplant, as well as several more following the procedure. After discharge from the hospital, the Transplant Center monitors patients closely for any signs of rejection.

This process is significant because, in many cases, it makes transplantation available to patients who otherwise would have been considered untreatable.

ABO Incompatible protocols - In the past, approximately one-third of potential living donors were turned down because their blood types are not compatible with the person they are trying to donate to. Recent studies have shown in certain instances it may be acceptable to transplant an incompatible kidney. (A2 to a B or an O) Further testing is required to determine this.

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