National survey on kidney transplant research now open

Posted by Simon Knight on October 1, 2014

psp_logo_redA new national survey has opened, giving patients, their carers and the healthcare professionals looking after them an opportunity to submit questions about kidney transplantation and living donation that they think should be addressed in future research.

The survey is open to all healthcare professionals caring for people who have had a kidney transplant, are on the transplant waiting list or living donors. The questions you ask will help inform future research and will be highly valuable to researchers and research funders.

Please visit the Kidney Transplant PSP website until the 30th of November to participate. It should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

Deadline approaching for ESOT’s Hepatologist and Nephrologist in a Transplant Program (HNTP) Course

Posted by Liset Pengel on September 22, 2014

The deadline for ESOT’s “Hepatologist and Nephrologist in a Transplant Program (HNTP)” course is September 30.

The HNTP course is an advanced ESOT course for physicians with a strong career interest in Transplantation

The educational objectives are:

  • To meet the experts on Transplant Medicine
  • To obtain specific knowledge and skills on medical aspects of Liver Transplantation
  • To obtain specific knowledge and skills on medical aspects of Kidney Transplantation
  • To exchange experience with other fellows aimed to develop their career in Transplant Medicine

Sign up now through the ESOT website.

September 2014 Transplant Trial Watch now online

Posted by Simon Knight on September 2, 2014

After a 1 month break for the World Transplant Congress, the September 2014 edition of the Transplant Trial Watch is now available on the CET website and via our mobile app.

This month, studies include an interesting analysis of the relationship between uric acid levels and CAN from the ABCAN trial, de novo Belatacept in liver transplantation and Alemtuzumab induction in lung transplantation.

World Transplant Congress

Posted by Peter Morris on August 27, 2014

The World Congress in Transplantation, which was a joint meeting between the TTS, the ASTS and the AST took place in San Francisco from the 26th to the 31st of July. It was a huge meeting with some 7,000 people attending which made it quite difficult to meet people.

The opening ceremony was rather special and quite different to the usual displays of the culture of the host city/state in that two outstanding talks were given by the father of a donor and a recipient of a lung transplant.

The first was by Reginald Green, the father of a little child, Nicholas, who had died during a bandit attack while holidaying in Italy with his wife and two children in 1994. He and his wife decided that he should be an organ donor. This caused a sensation at the time in Italy as organ donation was one of the lowest in Europe. Seven Italians benefited from his organs and corneas. The father has since set up a foundation to further the cause of organ donation ( This was a spellbinding account of this family’s sorrow but also demonstrating what he has done in the cause of organ transplantation to overcome the donor shortage, which is nowhere more evident than in Italy where the organ donation rate has quadrupled. There is a new edition of his highly acclaimed book “The Nicholas Effect”.

The second presentation was by a young woman, Charity Sunshine Tilleman-Dick, who is an opera singer. She opened her lecture with an aria from Rigoletto and then went on to explain how she was struck down with a lung condition early in her career and this required a double lung transplant. She returned to opera singing but several years’ later rejection was taking place and she had to have a second double lung transplant! Again this has been successful and she is back singing, and certainly the audience were in a position to vouch for her singing ability.

What a remarkable two stories. The large audience was spellbound as was the writer.

WTC 2014: Neonatal donor kidneys

Posted by Liset Pengel on August 25, 2014

Dr Richard Perez presented a fascinating abstract on the use of of neonatal donor kidneys. The mean donor age was 20 days and 70% of kidneys came from DCD donors. Twenty recipients with a mean weight of 54 kg received infant kidneys. There has been no deaths but 4 early graft failures. The surgical complications rate was 55% and the rate of DGF was 40%. These promising results show that neonatal donor kidneys although challenging should be considered as a potential source of kidneys available for transplantation.

(Perez R, Santhanakrishnan C, Demattos A, McVicar J, Troppmann C. The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) as a source of deceased donor kidneys for transplantation: initial experience with 20 cases)

CET poster abstracts received distinction awards at the WTC 2014

Posted by Liset Pengel on August 25, 2014

Great success for the CET at the World Transplant Congress: all 4 poster abstracts that were presented at the WTC received distinction awards. These were:

* A comparison of University of Wisconsin and Marshall’s solutions for cold storage of deceased donor kidneys in the United Kingdom.

* What is the evidence for oxygenated hypothermic machine perfusion in kidney transplantation? A systematic review.

* Antifungal prophylaxis in liver transplantation: a systematic review and network meta-analysis.

* Social Media and online exposure as an early measure of the impact of transplant research.

Hypothermic organ preservation studies presented at the World Transplant Congress 2014

Posted by John O'Callaghan on August 19, 2014

There were several presentations at the recent World Transplant Congress in San Francisco that discussed the latest developments in hypothermic organ preservation techniques. Using the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, Gill et al of the Vancouver group examined the impact of Hypothermic Machine Perfusion (HMP) on the risk of DGF depending on the Kidney Donor Profile Index (KDPI). When corrected for confounders, HMP was associated with approximately 20-30% reduction in odds of DGF in all but the lowest KDPI decile; If KDPI was less than 0.3 and CIT less than 12 hours, there was no reduction in DGF.
A paired DCD kidney study from Guangzhou, China (Yuan et al) compared HMP with static cold storage (40 donors). Unfortunately the study was small and 16 kidneys were discarded before transplantation, resulting in overall low rates of DGF, but no discernible difference between the two arms of the study. In another paired DCD kidney study, Zhong et al of the Hunan group, China, presented reduced rates of DGF with HMP. In a parallel laboratory study they showed reduced vasospasm and oedema of sertoli cells/renal tubular epithelial cells as a potential mechanism of action.
Considerable experience with HMP for liver preservation was presented by James Guarrera and the Columbia University group. The so-called “orphan” extended criteria donor livers used had been turned down by all other centres in the UNOS region. The livers were perfused with vasosol for 3-7 hours and transplanted into recipients with MELD scores less than 35. These cases were matched to historical controls preserved by static cold storage. Biliary complications were significantly lower in the HMP group, as was post-operative stay. Patient survival and early allograft dysfunction were not significantly affected however. Sanna op den Dries and a collaboration between Groningen and Harvard Universities have added to our understanding of non-anastomotic biliary strictures by demonstrating that injury to peri-biliary glands and vascular plexus before liver transplantation was predictive of later stricture formation.

Simon Knight a new daughter

Posted by Peter Morris on August 17, 2014

Simon Knight and his wife Alia have just had another little girl, Elise Zoe, born on 5th August late in the evening. Mother and daughter are doing well and the elder sister, Elodie, is enjoying having a little sister.

Congratulations from all to Alia and Simon on the birth of their new baby.


Meta-analysis in R: Part 2 – Binary data

Posted by Simon Knight on August 5, 2014

In part 1, I discussed how to get set up for meta-analysis in R, by installing the necessary software and libraries.

In this post, I will take the reader through the steps for performing meta-analysis of binary data in R.


DPhil for John O’Callaghan

Posted by Peter Morris on July 23, 2014

John O’Callaghan has successfully defended his thesis entitled “Evidence based hypothermic preservation of the kidney and liver for transplantation” and has now been notified that he has been awarded the DPhil degree. His work in this area has been outstanding and he has produced a number of critically important papers arising from the work of his thesis.

Congratulations John.

Next Page »