Kidney Transplant Transplant Services

Helping you to Accept Your New Kidney with Desensitization Protocols

By nature, your body doesn’t react well when foreign objects are introduced into it. It’s safe to say that your body would consider a new kidney – or perhaps more precisely, the antigens associated with that kidney – to be foreign. Your immune system would produce organ-rejecting antibodies that would guarantee transplant failure without a desensitization treatment protocol prior to surgery.

Of the 80,000 or so people on the national transplant waiting list, it’s estimated that as many as 30% of them are hyper-sensitive to the markers on the surface of donor kidneys. Stanford Hospitalís Kidney Transplant Program is one of just a handful of medical facilities nationally with a rigorous desensitization program for both deceased and living donor transplantation.

IVIG Infusions

Stanford has developed a protocol that involves giving such highly sensitized" patients a high dose of intravenous immunoglobulin, or IVIG and other medications. The IVIG infusions, which may be repeated over several months, lower the number of organ-rejecting antibodies in patients awaiting transplants. Hospital researchers have also developed a new assays system that allow us to see specifically what antibodies a patient has, and to predict which ones are going to go away with IVIG infusions.

Our goal with all these tests, treatments and technologies is not only to get more patients to transplantation, but more importantly, to create more successful outcomes for those patients.

ABO Incompatible Transplants

Ordinarily, if a person receives a kidney from a person with a different blood type, his or her immune system will recognize the organ as foreign and attack it. A process called plasmapheresis is used to remove the antibodies against the different blood type. Stanford offers a protocol that allows some recipients with incompatible blood type donors to undergo this procedure so that the transplant can take place.

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