St. Michael's North America first to use novel blood-cleaning procedure for kidney transplant

July 26, 2011

TORONTO, Ont., July 26, 2011--St. Michael's Hospital today became the first in North America to use a novel blood-cleaning procedure for a kidney patient that will allow him to receive a transplant from a donor with a different blood type.

Transplants involving a donor and recipient with different blood types are rare. Most people have natural antibodies in their blood that would cause their immune system to reject an organ from someone with a different blood type.

The procedure used today is called plasmapheresis and is similar to kidney dialysis, which removes waste products from the blood. Plasmapheresis separates plasma from patient's blood, and runs it through a column-shaped device containing synthetic carbohydrate beads that trap the blood group antibodies. The "washed" plasma is then returned to the patient's body.

Andre Cossette, a Grade 4 teacher at Ange-Gabriel Elementary Catholic School in Mississauga, Ont., has been on dialysis for three years. He is scheduled to receive a kidney transplant from his brother, who has Type AB blood, on Aug. 11. Cossette has Type A blood and antibodies against Type B.

"If this procedure works, I get to get my brother's kidney," Cossette said, shortly after beginning the procedure, which was expected to last two to four hours. "I won't have to be on a waiting list, waiting for a call to come to the hospital within four hours because there may be a kidney available."

The procedure may need to be repeated a few times to get rid of all the antibodies. The patient will also receive medications to prevent his immune system from making more antibodies and attacking the transplanted kidney.

Dr. Jeff Zaltzman, director of the hospital's kidney transplant program, said the procedure could expand the number of living organ donors. More than one-third of potential live donors are turned down because their blood types are not compatible with the person to whom they wish to donate their kidney.

"Every time you have a living donor, you're helping someone who would otherwise be on a transplant waiting list for a long time," Dr. Zaltzman said. "That's also one more person who is not taking an organ from a deceased donor, which could then be given to someone else."

In Ontario, 1,075 people are on a waiting list for a kidney transplant, according to the Trillium Gift of Life Network, the province's organ and tissue donation agency.

The device used today at St. Michael's, known as the Glycosorb ABO, was developed by Glycorex Transplantation, a Swedish company, and approved by Health Canada last year. It has been used once in Canada for a recent heart transplant in Alberta, but this is the first time for a kidney patient. The device is used in 21 countries, mainly in Europe, for kidney, liver, heart, lung and stem cell transplants.
-end-
About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael's Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 23 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, and care of the homeless are among the Hospital's recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Center, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

For more information please contact:

Leslie Shepherd
Public Relations Department, St. Michael's Hospital
Phone: 416-864-6094
shepherdl@smh.ca
Inspired Care. Inspiring Science.
www.stmichaelshospital.com
Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/stmikeshospital

St. Michael's Hospital

Related Immune System Articles from Brightsurf:

How the immune system remembers viruses
For a person to acquire immunity to a disease, T cells must develop into memory cells after contact with the pathogen.

How does the immune system develop in the first days of life?
Researchers highlight the anti-inflammatory response taking place after birth and designed to shield the newborn from infection.

Memory training for the immune system
The immune system will memorize the pathogen after an infection and can therefore react promptly after reinfection with the same pathogen.

Immune system may have another job -- combatting depression
An inflammatory autoimmune response within the central nervous system similar to one linked to neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) has also been found in the spinal fluid of healthy people, according to a new Yale-led study comparing immune system cells in the spinal fluid of MS patients and healthy subjects.

COVID-19: Immune system derails
Contrary to what has been generally assumed so far, a severe course of COVID-19 does not solely result in a strong immune reaction - rather, the immune response is caught in a continuous loop of activation and inhibition.

Immune cell steroids help tumours suppress the immune system, offering new drug targets
Tumours found to evade the immune system by telling immune cells to produce immunosuppressive steroids.

Immune system -- Knocked off balance
Instead of protecting us, the immune system can sometimes go awry, as in the case of autoimmune diseases and allergies.

Too much salt weakens the immune system
A high-salt diet is not only bad for one's blood pressure, but also for the immune system.

Parkinson's and the immune system
Mutations in the Parkin gene are a common cause of hereditary forms of Parkinson's disease.

How an immune system regulator shifts the balance of immune cells
Researchers have provided new insight on the role of cyclic AMP (cAMP) in regulating the immune response.

Read More: Immune System News and Immune System Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.