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Take a kidney transplant now or wait for a better one? Hopkins researchers create 'decision' tool
Date:4/9/2013

Johns Hopkins scientists have created a free, Web-based tool to help patients decide whether it's best to accept an immediately available, but less-than-ideal deceased donor kidney for transplant, or wait for a healthier one in the future.

Historically, the researchers say, it has been difficult, if not impossible, to accurately quantify the risk of accepting a deceased-donor kidney that may have been infected by hepatitis C, as compared to waiting what could be months or years for a better organ. There is a 5 to 15 percent chance of dying every year on the waiting list. Often, organs that may have been at risk of infection are thrown away and never transplanted.

In a new study described online in the American Journal of Transplantation, the Johns Hopkins researchers showed there are some types of patients for whom survival benefit outweighs the risks of accepting a possibly infected organ. They then developed a Web-based mathematical model to help predict which patients they would be. The easy-to-use website can be found at http://www.transplantmodels.com/ird.

"Because the supply of the healthiest donor organs is too small, patients need to consider all organ offers or risk dying while waiting for an organ. But this is a very hard decision, and many people turn down transplant offers that, in reality, would provide them significant benefit. Often they would have done much better taking the organ at hand than waiting for the next available one," says study leader Dorry L. Segev, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "This is the most important decision of a transplant candidate's life, and we have developed a novel tool we believe can help patients make the best choice."

Before they are made available for transplant, kidneys and other organs from deceased donors are tested for infectious disease
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Contact: Stephanie Desmon
sdesmon1@jhmi.edu
410-955-8665
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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