Kidney and liver transplantation in HIV-infected patients: case presentations and review

Until recently, HIV-infected patients have been excluded from consideration for solid organ transplantation. The relatively high mortality rates among HIV-infected transplant recipients observed in the era prior to the use of HAART, coupled with long waiting times for cadaveric organs, made it difficult to support organ transplantation in this patient group.

However, in response to the marked reductions in morbidity and mortality associated with HIV infection, several transplant centres have developed pilot studies or revised their clinical criteria to allow transplantation in this group of patients.

In this article from AIDS Patient Care STDS, researchers at the University of California in San Francisco describe two cases, one kidney transplant recipient and one liver transplant recipient, and review the major clinical and research issues related to this topic.

Reports of transplantations in the pre-HAART era highlight two important findings. First, some HIV-infected transplant recipients did very well with long survival periods. However, overall progression to AIDS and death appeared accelerated.

The researchers recently reported on their preliminary experience with 45 selected transplant recipients in the HAART era. One-year patient survival rates were similar to unmatched survival data from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database.

Median CD4+ T-cell counts remained stable in the follow-up period compared to pre-transplant. HIV-1 RNA nearly uniformly continued to be suppressed below the limits of detection.

Preliminary data are promising and support the current efforts to evaluate patient and graft survival among HIV-infected transplant recipients and to explore the mechanisms underlying the many potential complications of transplantation in this population.

Source: HIVand

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Roland ME, Adey D, Carlson LL et al. Kidney and liver transplantation in HIV-infected patients: case presentations and review. AIDS Patient Care STDS 17(10): 501-507. October 2003.

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