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What is ABO incompatible kidney transplant?

In an ABO incompatible kidney transplant your donor’s blood type and your blood type are not  compatible. Last year, advances in medicine made ABO incompatible kidney transplant possible associated with a few recipients and living donors.

ABO-incompatible (ABOi) transplantation is a type of allocation in organ transplantation that permits more efficient use of available organs regardless of ABO blood type which would otherwise be unavailable due to hyperacute rejection. ABO blood group incompatibility was considered an absolute contraindication for kidney transplantation. The best treatment of last stage renal disease is kidney transplantation but a major donor shortage has significantly limited this treatment. Profound donor shortage & immunologic barriers historically considered as absolute contraindications to transplantation are being reevaluated. Kidney transplantation across the ABO blood group barrier has the potential to expand the pool of donors, increase the availability of transplantable organs and reduces the  time for the availability of the kidney.

With ABO incompatible kidney transplant, you receive medical treatment before and after your kidney transplant to lower antibody levels in your blood and to lessen the risk of antibodies rejecting the donor kidney. The treatment includes:

  • Release antibodies from your blood (plasmapheresis)
  • Injecting antibodies into your body that saves from infections (intravenous immunoglobulin)
  • Providing other medications that protect your new kidney from antibodies