Solid Organ Transplant Basics

Solid Organ Transplant Basics is a topic covered in the Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics.

To view the entire topic, please or purchase a subscription.

The Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics helps you diagnose and treat hundreds of medical conditions. Consult clinical recommendations from a resource that has been trusted on the wards for 50+ years. Explore these free sample topics:

Washington Manual

-- The first section of this topic is shown below --

General Principles

  • Solid organ transplantation is a treatment, not a cure, for end-stage organ failure of the kidney, liver, pancreas, heart, and lung. Small intestine and vascularized composite allografts are performed in smaller numbers at specialized centers throughout the country. The benefits of organ replacement coexist with the risks of the immediate procedure followed by the risks of chronic immunosuppression. Thus, not all patients with organ failure are transplant candidates.
  • Organs from deceased donors remain in short supply, with increasing waiting times for potential recipients. Living donor transplants are increasingly common in kidney transplantation and are being evaluated in liver and lung transplantations as a partial solution to this shortage. Xenotransplantation is not currently a viable option.
  • Immunologic considerations between donor and recipient prior to the transplant must be fully evaluated including ABO compatibility, HLA typing, cross-matching, and some degree of immune response testing for the proposed donor. Newer protocols using desensitization techniques have had some success in overcoming these immunologic barriers such as a desensitization protocol for ABO incompatibility in living donor kidney transplantations.

-- To view the remaining sections of this topic, please or purchase a subscription --