ASTS NewsBrief
Feb. 24, 2014

Sterile leukocyturia is associated with interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy in kidney allograft protocol biopsies
American Journal of Transplantation (login required)
Kidney allograft interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy (IF/TA) is associated with a poorer renal function and outcome. In the current clinical practice, an early diagnosis can only be provided by invasive tests. We aimed to investigate the association of sterile leukocyturia with Banff criteria histological findings in kidney allograft protocol biopsies. We studied 348 allograft biopsies from two different European countries performed at 8.5+ 3.5 months after transplantation.More

ASTS Officer and Councilor Ballot Available
The ballot for the 2014 Officer and Councilor Elections is now online at In early April, all eligible voting members will receive a link to vote via a secure online system. Election results will be formally announced at the annual ASTS business meeting at WTC in July. More

Call for Committee Nominations
Looking for a way to get more actively involved with ASTS? Submit nominations for committee appointments that begin in July 2014. You may nominate yourself or another ASTS member you think would be well suited to serve on a particular committee. Please submit your nominations online before Feb. 28.More

Get the Member Rate at WTC
Registration for the 2014 World Transplant Congress is now open, but you must be current on your ASTS dues to register at the member rate. 2014 ASTS membership dues invoices were sent out late last year and dues payments were due Dec. 31, 2013. More

Math saving lives: New models help address kidney organ donation shortages
Fox News
On any given day in the United States, approximately 100,000 patients are waiting for a life-saving kidney transplant. The main problem is availability. In 2012, only 14,209 transplants took place in the U.S., leaving many on the waiting list for an available kidney. And the longer they wait, the lower their chances for survival.More

Immunosuppression-free transplant: An interview with Suzanne Ildstad, MD
Renal & Urology News
Immunologic mismatch may no longer be a barrier between living kidney donors and recipients, thanks to work being done by Suzanne T. Ildstad, MD, director of the Institute for Cellular Therapeutics at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky., and colleagues.More

Liver transplantation wait list may overprioritize some patients with hepatopulmonary syndrome
Some patients with hepatopulmonary syndrome who were prioritized on the national wait list for liver transplantation had lower post-transplant mortality than other transplant patients, suggesting that the exception policy should be reassessed, according to recent study data. Investigator Dr. David S. Goldberg, MSCE, at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study of 973 patients on the liver transplantation waiting list who received exception points and priority status based on MELD score for having hepatopulmonary syndrome (HPS).More

Histologic phenotype on 1-year posttransplantation biopsy and allograft survival in HLA-incompatible kidney transplants
The correlation between histopathologic phenotypes and allograft outcomes among patients desensitized for donor-specific antibody (HLA-incompatible) is unknown. Authors analyzed one-year biopsies from desensitized recipients transplanted between 1999 and 2010 and estimated graft survival for each histologic phenotype identified. Median time posttransplant for the one-year biopsy was 367 days (interquartile range 357-388 days) and median follow-up of all patients post-1-year biopsy was 42 months (interquartile range 19.5-65 months).More

High CTLA-4 expression on Th17 cells results in increased sensitivity to CTLA-4 coinhibition and resistance to belatacept
American Journal of Transplantation (login required)
The CD28/cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) blocker belatacept selectively inhibits alloreactive T cell responses but is associated with a high incidence of acute rejection following renal transplantation, which led us to investigate the etiology of belatacept–resistant graft rejection.More

Low birthweight and risk of albuminuria in living kidney donors
Clinical Transplantation (login required)
Low birthweight is linked to hypertension, chronic kidney disease and even end-stage renal disease. We hypothesized that living kidney donors born with lower birthweight may be at increased risk of hypertension, albuminuria, or reduced GFR beyond what is typical following uninephrectomy. More

Human lung made in lab for first time
For the first time, scientists have created human lungs in a lab — an exciting step forward in regenerative medicine, but an advance that likely won't help patients for many years. "It's so darn cool," said Joan Nichols, a researcher at the University of Texas Medical Branch. "It's been science fiction and we're moving into science fact."More

Sarcopenia increased mortality, sepsis risk in liver transplant candidates
A loss of skeletal muscle mass independently predicted mortality and the risk for sepsis in live-donor liver transplantation recipients, according to new data. Researchers in Japan evaluated 204 patients (50.4 percent men) within one month before living-donor liver transplantation (LDLT), measuring muscle mass along the psoas muscle using computed tomography (CT) scans.More