Transplants: French researchers identify a new type of rejection

Publié le : 5 December 2012
According to the journal The Lancet dated 23 November 2012, several French hospital-university teams led by Professor Xavier Jouven of the Cardiovascular Research Centre in Paris have succeeded in identifying "a new type of rejection, opening the way to specific treatments for saving transplants." These results could lead to a modification of the international rejection criteria.      
Until this publication, "specialists had identified two types of rejection. The first is called ‘cellular’ (provoked by certain white corpuscles, the T lymphocytes) and the second, called ‘humoral’ (provoked by antibodies). Henceforth, there are three types." The two principal authors of the study, Carmen Lefaucheur and Alexandre Loupy, "described a rejection called ‘vascular’, ‘which is characterised by the inflammation of the arteries of the transplant in response to the presence of antibodies directed against the donor’ according to their exact words." In the area of kidney transplants, they point out that this new form of rejection "increases by nine times the risk of losing the kidney.
The researchers claim that these new observations allow them to say that "in the current state of the international classification, 45% of patients who experience a vascular rejection are wrongly classified." The journalist goes on to point out that this error "leads to the adoption of unsuitable therapeutic treatment […] which increases the risk of losing the transplant." However, "these specialists demonstrate that the use of a therapy targeting the antibodies significantly improves the prognosis of the transplant among these patients".  Lastly, Carmen Lefaucheur and Alexandre Loupy conclude that "these findings open up a very wide field for investigation in the field of organ transplants and cardiovascular disease.

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