Results of renal transplantation of the Hashemi Nejad Kidney Hospital--Tehran.Clin Transpl. 2000CT
The first renal transplant in Iran was carried out in 1967. The renal transplant program severely lagged behind hemodialysis in growth until 1988. In 1988, a controlled LURD renal transplant program was adopted to provide kidneys for the large number of dialysis patients needing a renal transplant. There was no cadaveric donor transplant program. By the end of 1999, a total of 9,535 renal transplants were performed and the renal transplant waiting list of the country had been eliminated. In Iran's LURD renal transplant program, the Dialysis and Transplant Patients Association introduces the volunteer LURD to the recipient and the transplant team. There are no middlemen and no incentives for transplant teams. The government pays all of the hospital expenses for transplantation. Many poor patients are able to afford LURD transplantation and more than 50% of our LURD transplant recipients are from the poor socioeconomic class. Ethical issues within the program are under the strict observation of the transplant teams and the Iranian Society for Organ Transplantation. We have noted that many LURD transplant recipients had a potential LRD who did not donate for cultural reasons or who was reluctant to donate. In the presence of a controlled LURD renal transplant program, we feel it is more ethical to perform a paid renal transplant from volunteer LURD than a renal transplant from an LRD who may be under family pressure or coerced. The patient and graft survival rates reported from our unit are comparable to the results of renal transplants reported from centers of some other countries. Some patient deaths and graft losses could have been prevented if our transplant units were not deficient with respect to laboratory facilities and access to pharmaceutical agents. In April 2000, legislation recognizing brain death and cadaveric organ transplantation passed our parliament. Strong cultural barriers may limit the scale of cadaver donor transplantation in the coming years and we expect the programs will grow slowly. In the meantime, the LURD renal transplant program continues to serve the needs of many ESRD patients in Iran today and has allowed us to adapt this life-saving technology to our culture.