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Kidney Int. 2011 May;79(9):1026-31. doi: 10.1038/ki.2010.540. Epub 2011 Jan 12.

Opportunities to deter transplant tourism exist before referral for transplantation and during the workup and management of transplant candidates.

Author information

1
Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Abstract

Transplant tourism is a global issue, and physicians in the developed world may be in a position to actively deter this practice. To examine such opportunities, we identified 93 residents of British Columbia, Canada who had a kidney graft through tourism and determined their previous interactions with our transplant programs. These patients were mainly ethnic minorities (90%) who traveled to their country of origin for transplantation. Many tourists were transplanted early in their disease course, with 27 having a preemptive transplant. Among the 65 tourists referred for transplant, 33 failed to complete the evaluation. All tourists who completed an evaluation were placed on a waiting list in British Columbia and, after waiting a median of 2 years, pursued tourism. Most of these patients (62%) had a potential living donor, but none had an approved donor, with 13 donors found medically unsuitable, 8 ABO incompatible, and 12 who did not complete their evaluation. Thus, strategies to deter tourism should start before the development of end-stage renal disease and should be part of pretransplant workup and wait-list management, focusing on patients not progressing through their evaluation, those with a declined living donor, and those facing longer wait times, as these groups appear to be at higher risks for transplant tourism. Further studies are needed to identify individuals at risk for transplant tourism and to define effective strategies to deter these individuals.

PMID:
21228766
DOI:
10.1038/ki.2010.540
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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