Carolinas HealthCare System’s transplant teams offer several services not available from other hospitals in the region.
Positive Cross-Match Kidney Transplants
The Transplant Center at Carolinas Medical Center offers services to the 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, a medicine called immune globulin is given to help prevent the antibodies from coming back.
This process is significant because, in many cases, it makes transplantation available to patients who otherwise would have been considered untreatable. Currently, Carolinas Medical Center is one of only a few centers across the nation offering this potentially life-saving treatment.
Kidney Transplant in the HIV-Infected Population
Historically, it was believed that transplantation in the HIV-infected population was not advisable. The widespread thought was that anti-rejection drugs would lower the immune system in patients who were already compromised, causing the symptoms of the disease to become worse. Today, however, with the availability of highly improved HIV medications, patients are living longer and transplantation in the HIV-infected population is being revisited.
To qualify for a transplant, patients must meet the routine criteria for candidacy, have an undetectable viral load (the amount of HIV virus in your blood), and have CD4 counts greater than 200 for at least six months. In addition, patients must be evaluated by an infectious disease physician.
Living Donor Kidney Transplantation
A transplant is the most effective way to ensure long-term survival for a patient with kidney failure. For some patients, a transplant means the chance to spend more time with their families; for others, it may mean the opportunity to return to work, the chance to travel, or perhaps the ability to achieve a once-impossible dream. For more information, please visit our living donor page.