Blood group incompatible kidney transplant

 

Surgeons in theatreSometimes in living donation, the blood groups of the donor (person who is giving the organ) and recipient (person who is receiving the organ) don't match.

In the past, up to 30% of all potential living donor transplants were considered impossible due to blood group and antibody incompatibilities.

Recently however, it has become possible to transplant patients in this situation using specialised techniques. Only a few centres routinely perform this in the UK.

Our experience

We have one of the largest blood group incompatible transplantation programmes in the UK, having transplanted over 100 blood group incompatible living donor recipients. Our success rates are over 95%.

Rejection rates have been comparable with our routine transplants, and complication rates are also similar.

We have a specialist team dealing with these transplants and have now expanded our service to carry out blood group incompatible transplantation in children.

Our children’s blood group incompatible transplant programme is the largest in the UK. Eleven children have been successfully transplanted and to date, all have working transplants.

What we do

  • the procedure starts with simple blood tests to assess blood group and antibody levels
  • the treatment starts using a drug called Rituximab to help remove antibody-producing cells
  • we then remove the antibodies from the blood by a procedure similar to dialysis, called immunoadsorption
  • once the antibody levels are lowered sufficiently, transplantation can take place
  • after transplantation, we continue to monitor the antibodies, but further treatments are usually not necessary.

Referral information

For further information about our programmes or to refer a patient, please contact Professor Nizam Mamode, lead clinician in antibody incompatible transplantation, email: gst-tr.renalreferralsguys@nhs.net.