Good match not always needed for living donor kidney transplant

Reuters | Gene Emery

Surgeon Karim Zalazun looks at a monitor displaying a donor kidney for patient Adam Abernathy, who participated in a five-way organ transplant swap, in New York, August 1, 2012. REUTERS/KEITH BEDFORD

Reuters Health - Transplanting a mismatched kidney from a living donor may lower the risk of death more than not doing a transplant at all, according to a new study that could open the door to more operations.

A long-term study found that transplant recipients whose immune systems were technically incompatible to the donated kidney - because they had so-called anti-HLA antibodies - were more likely to be alive eight years later than people who did not receive a transplant or waited to get an organ from a deceased donor.

"We used to say if you had a compatible donor, you could do a transplant. Now you can say, if you have an incompatible donor, we still can make that transplant happen," senior author Dr. Dorry Segev of John Hopkins University in Baltimore told Reuters Health. "That's very exciting to those on the waiting list." Continue reading