ITNS Insider
Jan. 2, 2014

4 key issues in facial allotransplantation
By Maria Frisch
From May 23: Facial allotransplantation has transformed the future of patients with severe facial disfigurement by allowing for nearly normal facial restoration. Since 2005, at least 21 facial allotransplantations have been performed worldwide, with an estimated 90 percent overall success rate — two of the 21 patients died. This article summarizes four key issues regarding this procedure.More

Organ allocation: What is just and fair?
By Dorothy L. Tengler
From July 18: The Cleveland Clinic will be holding a conference on Emerging Issues in Organ Transplantation on Sept. 23-24 at Kiawah Island, S.C., focusing on current issues that are in various states of transition. One such issue is organ allocation, a topic that raises some serious questions about ethics and best practices in a field that is already fraught with tension over life-and-death decisions.More

Organ transplantation: Special consideration for kids
By Dorothy L. Tengler
From Aug. 29: Nearly 120,000 men, women and children currently need life-saving organ transplants. Every 10 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list. As of March, 1,760 of these patients were pediatric. But just how long do children have to wait, and how is the process different for them than for adults? New ethical questions have been raised, surrounding the recent lung transplantation case of 10-year old girl Sarah Murnaghan from Pennsylvania.More

Why liver transplant recipients should exercise regularly
By Joy Burgess
From Sept. 19: Recent research on liver transplant recipients shows that patients have an increased risk of metabolic syndrome after the transplantation surgery. According to one study conducted by Eric R. Kallwitz, M.D., a liver specialist from the Loyola University Medical Center, about 58 percent of patients develop metabolic syndrome after undergoing a liver transplant. The study also suggests that the onset of metabolic syndrome may be reduced by exercise.More

The importance of social support in organ transplantation outcomes
By Maria Frisch
From Oct. 17: Epidemiological studies have linked poor social support to negative health outcomes and higher mortality rates across a multitude of medical conditions. Social support appears to result in more positive biological profiles, and recent research on immune-mediated inflammatory processes shows how integrative physiological mechanisms directly link social support to physical health. And this asset has been shown to be a key variable in organ transplant success.More

Study on organ scarring may reduce need for organ transplantation
By Joy Burgess
From Dec. 5: Fibrotic diseases may occur in various body tissues, including kidney, lung and liver tissue. As these fibrotic diseases attack organs, damage occurs, which usually results in the need for a new organ via transplantation. However, researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found that specialized cells called myofibroblasts are the source of the scar tissue. Researchers hope to use the new discovery to develop new treatments to prevent organ deterioration as a result of fibrotic diseases.More

Organ transportation becomes big business for air medical services
By Joy Burgess
From Nov. 21: Although air ambulances focus their services on offering patient transportation, organ transportation has become big business in the last few years. For organs that require transportation over a short distance, a helicopter ambulance is often used, while fixed-wing ambulances may be used to transport organs over long distances. Many hospitals turn to air medical services for their organ transportation needs, since organ transportation involves a high level of coordination between facilities. Timing is crucial, which is why road transportation may not be the best choice when sensitive organs must be transported.More

A case for bariatric surgery among obese renal transplant candidates
By Maria Frisch
From June 13: Approximately 1 in 3 U.S. adults are obese or have a body mass index of 30 or higher. England and Canada aren't far behind at every 1 in 4. This is unfortunate, given the common association between obesity and excess morbidity and mortality. This association is particularly true in renal transplant surgery. Thus, consideration of presurgical bariatric surgery may be warranted in cases where prescribed dietary therapy and physical activity has failed.More

Research: Teens have an increased risk of kidney transplant failure
By Joy Burgess
From Oct. 31: A group of researchers at the University of Florida in Gainesville analyzed the data of more than 168,000 first kidney-only transplants between October 1987 and October 2010. According to the research published in JAMA Internal Medicine, teenagers between 14 and 15 years of age have a much higher risk of transplant failure after kidney transplantation than adults. The study shows that adolescents are more likely to have the kidney stop working than both older and younger transplant recipients.More

Latest technology offers promise for patients awaiting kidney transplants
By Joy Burgess
From Nov. 27: Many patients today spend years waiting for the live-saving transplant they require. Even with live organ donors stepping in to offer organs for loved ones, there still are not enough organs for patients awaiting transplantation. This lack of organs has led scientists to search for ways to grow or manufacture transplantable organs to fit this need. From biokidneys to 3-D printing, scientists have taken several approaches recently to solve this problem.More