Even with better immune suppressing drugs being developed for organ transplants, patients still require regular monitoring to prevent graft rejection. Kidney transplant recipients sometimes can be at risk even when standard blood tests for rejection appear stable.
To improve accuracy and avoid the need for frequent biopsies, several teams of transplant specialists are developing new urine tests for diagnosing acute organ rejection. These tests are non-invasive, could be administered often, and could identify immune events in real time.
At the American Transplant Congress this week in San Diego, Jennifer Jackson, MD, a nephrology fellow on the Emory kidney transplant team, presented research on a new urine-based test for the protein osteoprotegerin (OPG) and the chemokines CSCL9 and CXCL10.
Researchers found levels for all three markers elevated in patients experiencing acute rejection, but also in some patients whose grafts were supposedly â€œstable.â€ This smoldering inflammation could be responsible for chronic graft deterioration that goes undetected.
Posted on May 5, 2010
Emory University and Childrenâ€™s Healthcare of Atlanta transplant surgeon Stuart Knechtle, MD, and his surgical team recently performed the 1,000th solid organ transplant on a Childrenâ€™s patient. The milestone operation was performed on a child who received a liver through the Children’s Transplant Center.
Stuart Knechtle, MD
Knechtle is chief of the Emory School of Medicine transplant division and professor of surgery, and surgical director of Childrenâ€™s Liver Transplant Program. Childrenâ€™s Liver Transplant program was founded in 1990 and has completed more than 300 liver transplants.
The liver transplant team is made up of many individuals who contribute to its success – liver transplant surgeons, transplant hepatologists (doctors with expertise in the treatment of the liver), and a team of gastroenterologists, anesthesiologists, pathologists, radiologists, mental health specialists, chaplains, nurses, social workers and pharmacists.
For more than 20 years, Emory and Childrenâ€™s physicians have been at the forefront of pediatric transplant care, achieving several groundbreaking accomplishments, including:
- Transplanted the worldâ€™s youngest (10 days old) and three smallest (2 to 4 pounds) liver transplant recipients
- One of the first pediatric hospitals in the United States to perform three heart transplants in 24 hours
- At the forefront of its field with ABO-incompatible liver and heart transplants
- Performed more than 450 pediatric kidney transplants.
Children’s kidney transplant recipient Quinn Roberts, age 8, with her donor Cheryl Thomas