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SCIENCE FILE: An exploration of issues and trends affecting science, medicine and the environment. : Spousal Kidney Transplants Seen as More Successful

From Times staff and wire reports

A kidney transplanted from a spouse is less likely to be rejected than one from an unrelated donor or a cadaver, even though spousal organs are less likely to be a good immunological match, according to immunologist Paul I. Terasaki and his colleagues at UCLA. They report in the New England Journal of Medicine that the three-year organ survival rate was 85% for kidneys from 365 spouses, 81% for kidneys from 129 living unrelated donors, 82% for kidneys from 3,368 parents and 70% for 43,341 cadaveric kidneys.

Terasaki attributed the high rate of survival to the fact that the spousal kidneys were uniformly healthy. About 10% of kidneys from cadavers were damaged from the trauma of death.


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