Anti-blood clot drugs could protect transplant organs

17 November 2014 

A drug that is commonly used to prevent blood clots could also work to protect organs during transplantation, a new report has found.

The research, published in the British Journal of Surgery (BJS), offers a novel method that could help keep organs healthy during the procedure, which can significantly damage them. It is also hoped that the drugs would help organs function optimally after the operation.

When transplanted, there is a period where the organ is deprived of normal blood flow, which can induce damage as well as putting it at a high risk of further damage when blood flow is restored because of clotting.

The research, led by Dr Thierry Hauet, of the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), France, investigated whether anticoagulants could help protect transplant organs. 

Using a model of kidney transplantation, the team found that using an anticoagulant could improve kidney function both immediately after transplantation and several months later.

Dr Hauet said this could "augment the pool of available organs and allow for the safe use of marginal organs", which are often associated with poorer outcomes and complications.

Posted by Philip Briggs​


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