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San Antonio Team Pioneers Significant Advances for Kidney Transplant Candidates with Incompatible Living Donors

Methodist Healthcare August 08, 2012

San Antonio, Texas (August 6, 2012)… For kidney failure patients with living donors who are not a match, kidney paired donation offers an alternative with outstanding results, concludes a study published in this month’s edition of the American Journal of Transplantation. Doctors at Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital published the article, “Single-Center Kidney Paired Donation: The Methodist San Antonio Experience,” based on the results of a three-year study on kidney transplant candidates who had willing donors but were unable to donate due to cross-match or blood-type incompatibility. By using sophisticated computer software, the team provided matches to 134 patients between 2008 and 2011. The San Antonio team has provided more kidney paired donation (KPD) transplants than any other single-center in the nation.


Authors: Luke Shen, M.D.; Matthias Kapturczak, M.D. Ph.D.; Cathi Murphey, Ph.D.; Adam Bingaman, M.D., Ph.D.; Francis Wright, M.D.; and Sammy Vick, M.D.
Authors: Luke Shen, M.D.; Matthias Kapturczak, M.D. Ph.D.; Cathi Murphey, Ph.D.; Adam Bingaman, M.D., Ph.D.; Francis Wright, M.D.; and Sammy Vick, M.D.

The program has been especially effective in helping patients that statistically would not be a match with 80-100 percent of the population because of the antibodies in their blood; previous kidney transplants and pregnancy can result in a complicated string of antibodies that can result in organ rejection. Of the sensitized patients in the San Antonio study, more than 40 percent were highly sensitized with 61 percent of them women and 32 percent having a previous transplant. Kashla Sephus, 30, of San Antonio was one of these patients with an antibody level of 100 percent because of a previous kidney transplant and blood transfusions. The comprehensive database found her a match, as it has for 174 people to date.


“We hope the successful process documented in our study will spur other transplant centers to develop a database, increase the number of kidney paired donations and thus remove people from the ever-growing national wait list of more than 90,000 people,” said Adam Bingaman, M.D., Ph.D., lead author and director of the living donor program, Texas Transplant Institute at Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital. “If KPD were more widely used, it has been estimated that as many as 2,000 additional people could receive live donor transplants each year.”


 “Without Dr. Bingaman, I would still be on the list,” Sephus said.


“I have several patients who never would have received a first, second or third transplant if it weren’t for the program at Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital. These patients would still be on dialysis, waiting years for a transplant,” said Melissa Isbell, M.D., a San Antonio nephrologist. “The patients who immediately come to mind were young, from 28 to 52. They have all returned to work now and can enjoy life without the burden of dialysis.”



For more information about the Methodist Living Donor Program, call 800-888-0402, if you think you might be a candidate for an incompatible donor transplant or wish to donate a kidney to someone in need. 

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