ASTS NewsBrief
Jul. 15, 2013

Study: Allowing organ donation status on Facebook increased
number of donors

CBS News
Could something as little as putting your organ donor status on your Facebook profile help save lives? A new study published in the American Journal of Transplantation on June 18 showed that the social network gave a 21-fold boost to the number of people who registered themselves as organ donors in a single day.More

CMS Pilot Program launches today
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced that it will launch a Focused Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (FQAPI) pilot survey program Monday, July 15, 2013. CMS noted that 10 transplant centers were selected for participation in this pilot project based on SRTR data and will be reviewed by specially trained surveyors. As with all CMS surveys, it will be unannounced. More

Photos Needed for Chimera
ASTS' member magazine, Chimera, is looking for interesting photos to feature on the cover and in the new Photo Finish section. If you have interesting or unique surgical photos, please consider sharing them with your fellow ASTS members! The summer issue is scheduled to come out in August, so please submit your photos to by July 26.More

Understanding and Using Your Center's SRTR Data
Do you have questions about your transplant center's SRTR reports? Earn CME/CE credit while you learn about the current transplant regulatory environment and what your center needs to do to maintain CMS certification with two webinars recently added to More

Deceased donor liver transplantation in infants and small children: Are partial grafts riskier than whole organs?
Liver Transplantation (login required)
Infants have the highest wait-list mortality of all liver transplant candidates. Although previous studies have demonstrated that young children may be at increased risk when they receive partial grafts from adult and adolescent deceased donors (DDs), with few size-matched organs available, these grafts have increasingly been used to expand the pediatric donor pool. In this study, researchers sought to determine the current adjusted risks of graft failure and mortality in young pediatric recipients of partial DD livers and to determine whether these risks have changed over time.More

Should length of sobriety be a major determinant in liver transplant selection?
Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation (login required)
For patients with alcoholic liver disease, most liver transplant programs enforce a mandatory period of sustained abstinence prior to considering transplant. The '6-month rule' may eliminate potentially acceptable transplant candidates from a lifesaving procedure. This review focuses on the use of sobriety length as a determinant of transplant candidacy and as a predictor of future alcohol use. This article reviews the use of liver transplant in patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis, and the impact of alcohol use on posttransplant outcomes.More

Gene test may ID kidney rejection
MedPage Today (login required)
A urine-derived three-gene signature showed potential for noninvasive discrimination of kidney grafts that are being rejected from those that are not, a study of almost 500 kidney recipients showed More

Obesity and its impact on transplantation and alloimmunity
Transplantation (login required)
Obesity has become an increasing problem in healthcare worldwide with far-reaching consequences. More obese patients with irreversible end-stage organ failure undergo organ transplantation, and organs from obese donors are more frequently used. A growing body of evidence suggests more frequent postoperative complications and inferior patient and graft survival linked to obesity. More recently, adipose tissue has been linked to chronic inflammatory processes potentially impacting alloimmune responses and graft quality.More

Can an organ transplant change a recipient's personality? Cell memory theory affirms 'yes'
Medical Daily
Organ donors may be doing more than just saving lives. They may be giving a 'new life' to organ transplant recipients. According to Donate Life America's 2011 statistics, there were 8,127 deceased organ donors and 6,017 living organ donors in the United States, adding up to 28,535 organ transplants overall. More

Renal transplant imaging using magnetic resonance angiography with a nonnephrotoxic contrast agent
Transplantation (login required)
In renal allograft recipients presenting with graft dysfunction, it is critical to determine the patency of the transplant vasculature to guide clinical management. Conventional modalities such as Doppler ultrasound, contrast-enhanced computed tomography, magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), and noncontrast MRA are each of limited use because of technical factors and toxicity of standard contrast agents. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively review institutional experience with renal transplant MRA using ferumoxytol (a nonnephrotoxic medication) as a contrast agent and evaluate its use in the assessment of allograft vascular patency in patients with graft dysfunction, either delayed or slow graft function within hours to days after kidney transplantation or acute kidney injury weeks to months after kidney transplantation. More