Revolutionary New Kidney Transplant Procedure

Medical News Today

Kidney Research UK has announced that their scientists have discovered a revolutionary new method to increase success rate and longevity of kidney transplants. They have also discovered a method to enable more marginal donors organs to be used for transplantation, where they would have previously been unusable.

The process is actually relatively simple. The doctors flush the kidney with oxygenated blood prior to the transplant surgery. This process, known as normothermic perfusion, is seen to reverse the damage done to the organ by storing them at low temperatures while awaiting the surgical operation. The oxygenated organ performs better immediately after the grafting procedure. Kidneys that restore full function early after the implant, have been shown to last longer and perform better.

It is thought that the new process can not only increase lifespan of the patient, but also reduce rejection rates. The current lifespan of someone with a grafted kidney is only 10-15 years, and while on one hand, the process seems like common sense, it's a wonder no one thought of it 20 years ago. On the other hand, it is great news for anyone awaiting a kidney transplant.

Professor Mike Nicholson, lead researcher for Kidney Research UK, said:

"Normothermic perfusion allows us to gradually reintroduce blood flow to donor kidneys outside of the body and in a controlled way ... This reverses much of the damage caused by cold storage, while offering us a unique opportunity to treat the organs with anti-inflammatory agents and other drugs before going on to complete the transplant procedure ...In short, we're able repair and revive damaged kidneys in a way that would otherwise be impossible."
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