Global kidney exchange: followup report on the first GKE chain

from Market Design at http://bit.ly/2PhRjiC on August 29, 2018 at 01:56PM

Here’s a report, 3 years after, of the first global kidney exchange chain. Among the authors are the Filipino physicians who are providing ongoing care for the Filipino donor and recipient:

Complete Chain of the First Global Kidney Exchange Transplant and 3-yr Follow-up

Abstract

Background

Global Kidney Exchange (GKE) offers an opportunity to expand living renal transplantation internationally to patients without financial means. These international pairs are entered into a US kidney exchange program that provides long-term financial support in an effort to identify opportunities for suitable exchanges for both these international pairs and US citizens.

Objective

While the promise of GKE is significant, it has been met with ethical criticism since its inception in 2015. This paper aims to demonstrate the selection process and provide >3 yr of follow-up on the first GKE donor and recipient from the Philippines.

Design, setting, and participants

The first GKE transplant occurred with a young Filipino husband and wife who were immunologically compatible, but lacked the financial means to continue hemodialysis or undergo a kidney transplant in their home country. The pair was enrolled in the Alliance for Paired Donation matching system, several alternative kidney exchanges were identified, and the pair subsequently underwent renal transplantation and donation in the USA financed by philanthropy. The resulting nonsimultaneous extended altruistic chain provided transplantation for the Filipino husband and 11 US patients.

Outcome measurements and statistical analysis

The Filipino donor and recipient were followed by transplant professionals in both the Philippines and the USA. Follow-up data were maintained as required by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network in the USA.

Results and limitations

The Filipino donor has normal blood pressure and renal function, and the Filipino recipient is doing well 3.5 yr after their donation and transplantation.

Conclusions

While criticisms of GKE highlight concerns for possible exploitation of financially disadvantaged groups, these results demonstrate that these concerns did not come to fruition, and the outcome experienced by the GKE donor and recipient (and other US participants) was successful.

Patient summary

The first Filipino Global Kidney Exchange (GKE) donor-recipient pair continues to be followed by both US and Filipino transplant centers. Both are in good health, support the GKE program, and advocate for its expansion.