Economic and financial outcomes in transplantation: whose dime is it anyway?
ABSTRACT PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Organ transplant is a resource-intensive service that has been subjected to increasing scrutiny in this era of cost containment. A detailed understanding of the economic (societal) and financial (transplant provider) implications of organ quality, recipient characteristics, and allocation policy is vital for the transplant professionals. RECENT FINDINGS: Prior studies of kidney transplant economics demonstrate significant cost savings achieved by eliminating the need for long-term dialysis. However, transplant providers are experiencing higher financial costs because of changes in recipient characteristics and broader use of marginal organs. Liver transplantation economics are also more challenging because of the severity of illness-based organ allocation. Furthermore, the use of more allografts recovered from donors after cardiac death has been demonstrated to increase costs with minimal benefits. Finally, successful long-term mechanical support devices have fundamentally changed the economic implications of advanced heart failure care. SUMMARY: Although care for end-stage organ failure through transplant is one of the landmark accomplishments of 20th century medicine, maintaining or expanding access to transplant care is threatened by the high cost of care. Novel strategies are vital to reduce the financial burden faced by the centers that transplant high-risk patients and utilize lower quality organs.
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ABSTRACT: Improvements in digital slide scanners have reached a stage that digital whole slide images (WSIs) can be used for diagnostic purposes. A digital system for histopathology, analogous to the systems used in radiology, would allow the establishment of networks of subspecialist histopathologists to provide a regional, national or even international rota to support out of hours histopathology for emergency frozen sections, urgent paraffin sections and to generally improve efficiencies with the provision of histopathology services. Such a system would promote appropriate organ utilisation by allowing rapid characterisation of unexpected lesions in the donor to determine whether donation should occur and further characterisation of the organ, such as the degree of fibrosis in the kidney or steatosis in the liver, to determine whether the organ should be used. If introduced across Europe, this would promote safe and effective exchange of organs and support a cost efficient use of pathologist expertise. This review article outlines current issues with the provision of an urgent out of hours histopathology service and focuses on how such a service has the potential to increase organ donors, improve allocation, sharing and the use of available donor organs.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.Transplant International 03/2014; 27(8). DOI:10.1111/tri.12320 · 3.16 Impact Factor
Article: Tolerance--Is It Worth It?[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We are entering an exciting time in the study of immunologic tolerance. Several cellular and molecular strategies have been developed that show promise in nonhuman transplant models and these approaches are just now appearing in clinical trials. Tolerance strategies that prevent immune rejection and obviate the need for immunosuppressive medications (with inherent risk of cancer, infection, and organ toxicity) would improve both graft and patient survival. Each tolerance protocol brings its own set of associated risks. As the results of these trials become available, we must continue to evaluate their successes and failures. The balance of these outcomes will help us answer the question: "Tolerance-Is it worth it?"Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine 12/2013; 4(2). DOI:10.1101/cshperspect.a015594 · 7.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A special feature of the renal stem/progenitor cell niche is its always close neighborhood to the capsule during organ development. To explore this link, neonatal kidney was investigated by histochemistry and transmission electron microscopy. For adequate contrasting, fixation of specimens was performed by glutaraldehyde including tannic acid. The immunohistochemical data illustrate that renal stem/progenitor cells are not distributed randomly but are positioned specially to the capsule. Epithelial stem/progenitor cells are found to be enclosed by the basal lamina at a collecting duct (CD) ampulla tip. Only few layers of mesenchymal cells are detected between epithelial cells and the capsule. Most impressive, numerous microfibers reacting with soybean agglutinin, anti-collagen I and III originate from the basal lamina at a CD ampulla tip and line between mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells to the inner side of the capsule. This specific arrangement holds together both types of stem/progenitor cells in a cage and fastens the niche as a whole at the capsule. Electron microscopy further illustrates that the stem/progenitor cell niche is in contact with a tunnel system widely spreading between atypical smooth muscle cells at the inner side of the capsule. It seems probable that stem/progenitor cells are supplied here by interstitial fluid.Histochemie 01/2014; 141(5). DOI:10.1007/s00418-014-1179-0 · 2.93 Impact Factor