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The current status of hepatic transplantation at the University of Pittsburgh.

Abu-Elmagd, K and Fung, J and Todo, S and Rao, A and Reyes, J and Demetris, J and Mazariegos, G and Fontes, P and McMichael, J and Furukawa, H (1995) The current status of hepatic transplantation at the University of Pittsburgh. Clinical transplants. 145 - 170. ISSN 0890-9016

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Tacrolimus is a more potent and satisfactory immunosuppressant than CyA for combination therapy with prednisone. In randomized trials comparing the 2 drugs, the ability of tacrolimus to rescue intractably rejecting grafts on the competing CyA arm allowed equalization of patient and graft survival on both arms when the intent-to-treat analytic methodology was applied. The ability of tacrolimus to systematically rescue the treatment failures of CyA suggested, as a matter of common sense, that it is the preferred baseline drug for hepatic transplantation. This conclusion was supported by analysis of secondary end points, including the ability to prevent rejection. Hepatic-intestinal, multivisceral and isolated intestinal transplantation became feasible on a practical basis only after the advent of tacrolimus. Nevertheless, better management strategies must be devised before intestinal transplantation, alone or with other abdominal viscera, will meet its potential. One such strategy is based on the discovery of the presence of previously unsuspected, low-level donor leukocyte chimerism in long-surviving allograft recipients. We believe that this chimerism is the essential explanation for the feasibility of organ transplantation and a link to the acquired neonatal tolerance demonstrated by Billingham, Brent and Medawar (32). The hematolymphopoietic chimerism in organ recipients explains why weaning to a drug-free state in selected long-term survivors is frequently feasible and particularly if the allograft is a liver. Weaning should never be attempted without a stepwise protocol and careful monitoring of graft function. Recognition of the natural chimerism that develops after whole organ transplantation has led to efforts to augment it with perioperative donor BM infusion. This procedure has been shown to be free of significant complications (including GVHD) in all kinds of whole organ recipients, including those given intestine. The prospects of clinical xenotransplantation must be evaluated in the same context of chimerism as that delineated for allotransplantation with the discovery of spontaneous chimerism. Before addressing chimerism-related questions in xenotransplantation, the additional barrier of the complement activation syndromes that cause hyperacute rejection will have to be surmounted. Although measures to effectively transplant xenografts have so far eluded us, the availability of the more potent drug, tacrolimus, and recognition of the seminal basis of allograft (or xenograft) acceptance via chimerism has inserted an element of reality into the largely wishful thinking that has been evident in discussions about the future of xenotransplantation.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Abu-Elmagd, K
Fung, J
Todo, S
Rao, A
Reyes, J
Demetris, J
Mazariegos, G
Fontes, P
McMichael, J
Furukawa, H
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute
Date: 1 January 1995
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Clinical transplants
Page Range: 145 - 170
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0890-9016
Article Type: Review
Other ID: uls-drl:31735062133297, Starzl CV No. 1865
PubMed ID: 8794262
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2010 17:31
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2019 15:55


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