Immune system ‘neutralized’ to accept incompatible kidney

For the first time in Israel, a man with one type of blood has donated his kidney to his daughter despite her incompatible blood type.

March 22, 2010 02:17
1 minute read.
Immune system ‘neutralized’ to accept incompatible kidney

kidney 88. (photo credit: )


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For the first time in Israel, a man with one type of blood has donated his kidney to another person – his daughter –  despite her incompatible blood type.

The successful operation, performed recently at the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva, was made possible by an unusual process in which the recipient’s immune system was neutralized to prevent it from fighting the donor organ.

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The 19-year-old girl, Ortal Mahlev, has suffered for years from renal insufficiency. The only way to save Ortal, who has type B blood, was to receive a kidney from someone with type B or Type O (the universal donor). Her father, who lives in Ramat Hasharon, has type A blood.

Because her condition had seriously deteriorated, the Rabin team decided to process her blood so that her immune system would not try to destroy her father’s kidney.

Prof. Eitan Mor and Dr. Alexander Yusis of the transplant department, along with Dr. Ya’acov Orlin of the blood bank, ordered a process of plasmapheresis to separate her antibodies from the rest of her blood and return the blood to her body to reduce the risk of rejection. Ortal also received drugs and blood products to help in this process.

As her father’s kidney is functioning normally in her body, Ortal was discharged on Sunday. Mor said that the technique, used in some leading centers abroad, is regarded as a breakthrough in organ transplantation, because it expands the supply of suitable organ donations and can succeed even for the long term with suitable monitoring of antibodies levels.

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