Solid Organ Transplant Rejection
About Solid Organ Transplant Rejection
When a patient receives an organ transplant from a donor, the patient’s immune system may recognise the organ as foreign. This occurs when the patient's immune system detects differences in certain proteins on the surface on the cells of the organ transplanted and can trigger transplant rejection. To help prevent this reaction, doctors try to match as closely as possible the cell surface proteins of the organ donor with those of the person who is receiving the organ. The better the match, the less likely that the organ will be rejected.
If a patient’s body rejects a transplanted organ, then steroids and other immunosuppressant drugs are usually the first choice of therapy to try to control the rejection process. Patients who undergo solid organ transplantation are at a higher risk of infection because of these medications, which are used to prevent rejection of the transplanted organ, and can decrease the body's ability to fight off infection.
If you have had a solid organ transplant, be sure to contact your healthcare professional if you have questions about solid organ transplant or your treatment for solid organ transplant rejection.
Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) is the most common form of chronic graft dysfunction after a lung transplant that affects up to half of patients within 5 years of transplantation. This disorder causes scarring of the small airways of transplanted lungs, leading to patients experiencing shortness of breath, decreased exercise tolerance, fatigue and cough.
To examine initially for BOS, the doctor may ask to perform a lung function test to measure the amount of air that the patient can exhale in one second. In patients with BOS, this amount will be significantly less than the patient achieved during the same test just after transplantation.
Treatment and management of BOS often involves the use of immunosuppressant drugs to stabilise a patient’s lung function. If you have BOS, make sure to contact your healthcare professional if you have questions about BOS or your treatment.
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