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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Blood 'cleaning' aids transplants

A new technique could allow transplant patients to receive organs from donors with a different blood group.

London's Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust carried out one of the first such transplants to use a the technique, which removes antibodies from blood.

The Guy's and St Thomas' team used a technique called antibody specific immunoabsorption.

It works in a similar way to the dialysis it is designed to help patients escape.

In Barbara's case, her blood group is O, and her partner Ian Long's blood group is A.

Her blood naturally carries antibodies to A-type blood.

In the weeks before the transplant Barbara was given medication to stop her body from producing the usual number of these antibodies.

She then had four sessions on the machine to filter out any antibodies which would cause her to reject the new kidney.

Her blood was fed through an immunoabsorption column, which contains a carbohydrate which absorbs anti-A or anti-B antibodies.

However, the column only removed the antibodies which would cause rejection and left other antibodies, which play important roles in fighting infections.

Read more: Blood 'cleaning' aids transplants


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