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Am J Transplant. 2012 Sep;12(9):2429-36. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2012.04156.x. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

Chain transplantation: initial experience of a large multicenter program.

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1
Department of Surgery, Stanford University, CA, USA. melcherm@stanford.edu

Abstract

We report the results of a large series of chain transplantations that were facilitated by a multicenter US database in which 57 centers pooled incompatible donor/recipient pairs. Chains, initiated by nondirected donors, were identified using a computer algorithm incorporating virtual cross-matches and potential to extend chains. The first 54 chains facilitated 272 kidney transplants (mean chain length = 5.0). Seven chains ended because potential donors became unavailable to donate after their recipient received a kidney; however, every recipient whose intended donor donated was transplanted. The remaining 47 chains were eventually closed by having the last donor donate to the waiting list. Of the 272 chain recipients 46% were ethnic minorities and 63% of grafts were shipped from other centers. The number of blood type O-patients receiving a transplant (n = 90) was greater than the number of blood type O-non-directed donors (n = 32) initiating chains. We have 1-year follow up on the first 100 transplants. The mean 1-year creatinine of the first 100 transplants from this series was 1.3 mg/dL. Chain transplantation enables many recipients with immunologically incompatible donors to be transplanted with high quality grafts.

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