Infographic: Lower Rejection Risk Multi-Organ Transplant

Giving High-Risk Patients a Better Chance for Successful Transplantation.

Antibodies are the enemy of transplanted organs.

  • The immune system creates antibodies in the bloodstream to attack foreign bodies — usually germs.
  • They may also attack transplanted organs — this is called transplant rejection.

Transplant patients' immune systems may become highly-sensitized (and create many antibodies) due to:

  • Blood transfusions
  • Previous transplants
  • Pregnancy

For some highly-sensitized patients, organ transplantation is not an option due to an increased risk of rejection.

New options offer hope to highly-sensitized patients.

Paired kidney donation

  • When a living kidney donor and intended recipient aren't a match, programs can find others in the same situation.
  • If donor A is a match for recipient B and vice versa, the kidneys can be swapped across pairs.
  • Better-matched organs reduce the chance of rejection.

Access to cutting edge research

  • Clinical trials to test potential new therapies.
  • Laboratory and translational research by Mayo Clinic investigators to understand both antibody production and its effect on graft survival.
  • Multidisciplinary clinical protocols to improve the outcomes of highly-sensitized patients in kidney, heart, lung, pancreas and liver transplantation.

Giving sensitized kidney patients higher priority

  • Highly-sensitized patients get higher priority on the national organ transplant waiting list.
  • Gain access to organs with fewest antibodies.
  • Changes to the system enable better matches to be found.

Transplanting liver first in multi-organ transplants

  • Transplanting a liver first in the same surgery helps reduce antibodies in the bloodstream.
  • The liver is the body's filter.
  • Lower rejection rates in liver-kidney transplants than in kidney-alone transplants.*
  • Has recently been used successfully in liver-heart transplants.

*Depending on the amount of antibodies at the time of transplant.

High-volume transplant centers offer special programs for highly-sensitized patients.

Highly-sensitized patients can benefit from:

  • List of unmatched donors seeking paired donation.
  • Access to clinical trials.
  • Experienced surgical teams capable of complex operations.