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Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl. 2007 Nov;18(4):648-55.

Organ transplantation in Iran.

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Hashemi Nejad Kidney Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, The Ministry of Health, Tehran, Iran.


The first renal transplantation in Iran was carried out in 1967. Between 1967 to 1988 almost all renal transplants were from living-related donors and the number of renal transplants performed was much lower than the national demand. In 1988, a compensated and regulated living-unrelated donor renal transplantation program was adopted. As a result, the number of renal transplants performed substantially increased such that in 1999, the renal transplant waiting list was completely eliminated. By the end of 2006, a total of 21251 renal transplants were performed (3641 from living-related, 16544 from living-unrelated and 1066 from deceased-donors). In this program, many ethical problems that were associated with paid kidney donation were prevented. Currently, Iran is the only country with no renal transplant waiting lists, and> 50% of patients with end-stage renal disease have functioning grafts. In April 2000, the legislation was passed by parliament accepting brain death and allowing deceased-donor organ transplantation. By the end of 2006, 18 brain death identification units, 13 organ procurement units were organized, and a total of 1546 deceased-donor organ transplantations were performed (1066 kidney, 327 liver, 122 heart, 20 lungs, 7 pancreas-kidney, 2 heart-lungs and 2 small bowel transplants). The number of deceased-donor organ transplants have slowly but steadily increased in the country. The majority of deceased-donor kidney, liver, and pancreas transplants have been performed by transplant team of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences.

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