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Available from: John Julian Fung, Aug 31, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Transplant tourism is the term used for patients who travel abroad for transplantation. Transplant tourism has always been surrounded with controversy regarding how these organs were obtained, the donor's care after transplantation, and the recipient outcome. Many authors have found that the outcome of the recipients in transplant tourism is inferior to those transplanted in their own countries. However, most these studies were small, with the latest one including only 33 patients. Here, we describe the outcome of 93 patients who were transplanted abroad compared with local transplantation. All transplant patients who were followed up at our Nephrology Clinic from 1998 until 2008 were identified using our data base system. We selected patients transplanted from 2003 and forward because the computerized system for laboratory and electronic records began operation that year. A total of 165 patients were identified (93 in the tourist group and 72 in the local one). Transplant tourists had a higher rate of acute rejection in the first year compared with local transplantation (27.9% vs. 9.9, P=0.005), higher mean creatinine at 6 months and 1 year (120 vs. 101 micromol/L, P=0.0007, 113 vs. 98 micromol/L, P=0.008). There was no statistical difference in graft or patient survival in 1 or 2 years after transplantation. However, transplant tourist had a higher rate of cytomegalovirus infection (15.1% vs. 5.6%, P=0.05) and hepatitis C seroconversion (7.5% vs. 0%, P=0.02). Transplant tourists had a more complex posttransplantation course with higher incidence of acute rejection and infectious complications.
    Transplantation 05/2010; 90(2):184-8. DOI:10.1097/TP.0b013e3181e11763 · 3.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: While the ethical aspects of transplant tourism have received much attention recently, less has been written about the medical safety of this practice. We retrospectively evaluated the outcomes of patients who purchased organs internationally and presented to our center for follow-up care. Baseline demographic characteristics were recorded. Post-operative outcomes including patient survival, graft survival, five-yr graft function, and complications were assessed. Eight patients who purchased international organs for transplant were identified. The country of transplant was China (n = 3), Pakistan (n = 3), India (n = 1), and the Philippines (n = 1). All patients were born in either Asia or the Middle East and traveled to the region of their ethnicity for transplantation. The mean time to presentation was 49 d post-operatively. The overall one- and two-yr patient survival rates were 87% and 75%, respectively. One patient died of miliary tuberculosis and another of Acinetobacter baumanii sepsis. There was one case of newly acquired hepatitis B infection. At last follow-up, all six surviving patients had functioning grafts with a mean creatinine level of 1.26 mg/dL at five yr. Although intermediate-term graft function is acceptable, the early morbidity and mortality among transplant tourists is high. These results suggest that the associated risks may not justify the trip.
    Clinical Transplantation 10/2010; 25(4):633-7. DOI:10.1111/j.1399-0012.2010.01325.x · 1.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Due to lengthening waiting lists for kidney transplantation, a debate has emerged as to whether financial incentives should be used to stimulate living kidney donation. In recent surveys among the general public approximately 25% was in favor of financial incentives while the majority was opposed or undecided. In the present study, we investigated the opinion of living kidney donors regarding financial incentives for living kidney donation. We asked 250 living kidney donors whether they, in retrospect, would have wanted a financial reward for their donation. We also investigated whether they were in favor of using financial incentives in a government-controlled system to stimulate living anonymous donation. Additionally, the type of incentive deemed most appropriate was also investigated. In general almost half (46%) of the study population were positive toward introducing financial incentives for living donors. The majority (78%) was not in favor of any kind of reward for themselves as they had donated out of love for the recipient or out of altruistic principles. Remarkably, 60% of the donors were in favor of a financial incentive for individuals donating anonymously. A reduced premium or free health insurance was the preferred incentive.
    American Journal of Transplantation 11/2010; 10(11):2488-92. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-6143.2010.03278.x · 6.19 Impact Factor
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