ASTS NewsBrief
Oct. 21, 2013

Widely prescribed statin could help organ transplant patients
Scientific American
A trawl of existing data has identified drugs that seem to stall organ rejection in patients who have undergone transplants. By crunching through large, publicly available data sets, researchers pinpointed a suite of genes involved in organ rejection. They were then able to identify drugs that affect the activity of these genes—with candidates including a widely prescribed statin, a class of drug used to lower blood-cholesterol levels. A subsequent analysis of thousands of medical records indicated that statins do in fact help transplant patients.More

Last chance to nominate for ASTS Recognition Awards!
Nominations for ASTS Recognition Awards close this Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. Don't miss this chance to recognize a faculty member, mentor, or peer who demonstrates outstanding leadership, stewardship, and capacity to train transplant professionals by nominating them for the Francis Moore Excellence in Mentorship in the Field of Transplantation Surgery Award, the Vanguard Prize, or the Advanced Transplant Provider Award. 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 on More

OPTN policy requirements for living donor follow-up data reporting
UNOS will hold a webinar on Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. Eastern to provide an overview of new OPTN policy requirements for living kidney donor follow-up data reporting and strategies that programs may choose to incorporate into their practice to improve donor follow-up. More

Young transplant patients 'at higher risk of kidney disease'
Medical News Today
A new national study from U.S. researchers suggests that children who undergo solid organ transplants are at higher risk of developing advanced kidney disease. Researchers from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania say their findings emphasize the importance of continued kidney screening in pediatric transplant patients.More

Acute hepatitis and liver failure following the use of a dietary supplement Intended for weight loss or muscle building
On Sept. 9, the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) was notified of seven patients with severe acute hepatitis and fulminant liver failure of unknown etiology. Patients were previously healthy and sought medical care during May-September 2013. Clinicians reported that the seven patients had all used OxyELITE Pro, a dietary supplement marketed for weight loss and muscle gain, before illness onset. The HDOH, with the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), initiated a public health investigation including patient interviews, medical chart reviews and collection of supplement samples for analysis.More

Survey: Screening recipients of increased-risk donor organs
Transplant Infectious Disease (login required)
In 1994, the Public Health Service published guidelines to minimize the risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission and to monitor recipients following the transplantation of organs from increased-risk donors. A 2007 survey revealed the post-transplant surveillance of recipients of organs from increased-risk donors (ROIRD) is variable.More

Antiviral treatment for hepatitis B virus recurrence following liver transplantation
Clinical Transplantation (login required)
The purpose of this study was to identify the factors associated with the recurrence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) following liver transplantation (LT) for HBV-related disease and to recognize the outcome of treatment for HBV recurrence with oral nucleos(t)ide analogues. Six hundred and sixty-seven LTs were performed for HBsAg-positive adult patients in our institute from 1996 to 2010. More

Empiric switch from calcineurin inhibitor to sirolimus-based immunosuppression in pediatric heart transplantation recipients
Pediatric Transplantation (login required)
Sirolimus is used in heart transplant patients with CAV and CNI-induced nephropathy. However, little is known regarding the tolerability, rejection rate and effect on renal function when used empirically in children. This article describes the authors' experience with the empiric use of a sirolimus-based immunosuppressive regimen in pediatric heart transplantation recipients. More

Gender issues in solid organ donation and transplantation
Gender as a critical, intrinsic, non-immunologic factor plays a pivotal role in the field of transplantation. The gender of donors and recipients is involved in the entire process, including organ donation and transplant surgery. This review article aims to summarize the literature related to the role of gender in solid organ donation and transplantation and to unveil the underlying mechanism by which gender mismatch between donor and recipient impacts transplant rejection. More