12/6/2011 -Newswise - JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- Mayo Clinic in Florida is now
offering kidney and pancreas transplants
to HIV positive patients with advanced kidney disease and diabetes. Evidence is now solid that HIV-positive patients have the same
favorable outcome in terms of patient and allograft survival as non-HIV positive organ transplant recipients,
says Mary Prendergast, M.D. , a
kidney specialist whose focus is the care of patients who receive kidney and pancreas transplants.
"With the utilization of HAART therapy to control HIV disease, it is very clear that solid organ transplant is both feasible and
successful," she says. "We are very excited to be able to offer this service, which will provide end-stage kidney disease patients
an alternative to years of difficult dialysis treatment."
Concerns in the past relating to the necessity of utilizing anti-rejection medications to transplant already immunosuppressed
HIV-positive patients have been overcome with solid evidence that there is no increase in either the incidence of opportunistic
infection or an acceleration of HIV disease, Dr. Prendergast says, as demonstrated in a recent large multi-center U.S.-based
study, published last November in The New England Journal of Medicine .
Mayo Clinic in Florida has offered liver transplant
for HIV-positive patients for a number of years now Dr. Prendergast says, and currently performs approximately 110 kidney transplants
each year, and 10 pancreatic transplants, either alone or in combination, for non-HIV patients. Criteria for transplantation in HIV
positive patients include an undetectable viral load and CD4 count greater than 200 cells per cubic millimeter, she says. Patients
will be eligible to receive both deceased and living donor transplant organs.
The need for organ transplants is widespread, Dr. Prendergast adds. Currently there are 96,000 patients on the kidney transplant
and 1,300 waiting for a pancreas transplant wait lists, according to the United Network for Organ
Sharing (UNOS) . Between one and three percent of those on dialysis are HIV positive.
About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information,
visit www.mayoclinic.org/about/ and www.mayoclinic.org/news .
Source: Newswise, Inc