New Test For Risk Of Transplant Rejection Avoids Painful Biopsy And Excessive Bleeding

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A noninvasive urine test may accurately determine the risk of a possible Kidney Transplant rejection in Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients which could dramatically reduce the need for Kidney Biopsies and enable doctors to safely reduce or increase immunosuppressive therapies as necessary. Currently, doctors have to insert a long thin needle through a patient's back to garner a tissue sample and determine the health of a Transplanted Kidney. Though considered safe, this Kidney Biopsy has serious potential risks to CKD patients including bleeding into muscle, bleeding into kidney, infection of the skin, even puncturing a major blood vessel (though rare) and does not always provide an accurate impression of the overall state of the kidney.

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Researchers found that the protein CXCL9 was better at ruling out rejection than any Kidney Biopsies. Transplant recipients with low urinary CXCL9 protein biomarker 6 months after transplantation were unlikely to experience rejection or loss of kidney function over the next 18 months. Hence, low levels of CXCL9 suggest that rejection is not a cause of injury to a Transplanted Kidney. Detection of the protein in urine of transplant recipients is also more straightforward than traditional methods.

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To prevent rejection, kidney transplant recipients typically take immunosuppressive drugs every day. However, these drugs can cause kidney damage and lead to other serious side effects such as cancer, infection and infertility. Even with immunosuppressive therapy, 10 to 15 percent of kidney recipients experience rejection during the first year after transplantation. Monitoring an increase in CXCL9 could serve as an immediate indicator at the onset of kidney rejection which would allow doctors to intervene early to potentially avoid rejection associated with Kidney Damage before it is too late.

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Urine tests could be used as a noninvasive way to monitor the effectiveness of a Kidney Transplant treatment and help guide the care of transplant recipients. KidneyBuzz.com encourages you to talk to your Kidney Transplant Center and determine if they are considering using protein biomarkers to assess your Kidney Health after transplant because clinical application of these findings could help avoid unnecessary pain from biopsies and side effects caused by excessive immunosuppressants.

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References: 

"Urine Test Might Predict Kidney Transplant Rejection " Global Times.

"Kidney Biopsy." WebMD. WebMD