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Home   About AST   Education   Meetings & Events   Public Policy   Contact Us   April 11, 2014


AST leaders visit Capitol Hill for Congressional meetings

Society leaders meeting with Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA)

Earlier this week AST flew in to Capitol Hill with a dozen of the association's Public Policy Committee leaders to meet with the offices of targeted Members of Congress and key health care Committees. The Society was praised by many of the Congressional offices for the organization's steadfast commitment to seeing many of the transplant patient and provider community priorities through to their final passage and enactment.

Discussions with Members of Congress and senior staff included:
  • NIH funding and annual appropriations process
  • HIV Organ Procurement Equity (HOPE) Act
  • Comprehensive Immuno Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act
  • Medicare Part D Protected Classes and Transplant Patient Immuno Drugs
From the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to the vice Chair of the Senate, to the Chairman of the Congressional Physicians Caucus, AST leaders spent the entire day working with Capitol Hill leaders and their staff. AST also shared some of the organization's ongoing work with FDA, HHS and other relevant federal health care agencies.
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Have you shopped the AST Store?
Welcome spring with new AST apparel! AST apparel keeps you covered all year long with cool-weather fleeces and jackets to warm-weather shirts and baseball caps. Take a moment to shop our online store.
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Now accepting abstracts!
AST + ESOT Joint Meeting
Personalized Transplantation: From New Diagnostics to New Therapeutics

October 17-19
Madrid, Spain

Submit your clinical, translational and basic abstracts on Novel Immune Monitoring and/or Diagnostics and Immunosuppression Strategies.
Submission Deadline: Sunday, June 29

Long-term graft and patient survival are the key issues in transplantation. Outcomes are affected by individual immune risk and co-morbidities, as well as gender and race. The time is now to focus on improving outcomes through personalized medicine and finding the optimal combination of immunosuppressive drugs in the right dose for each patient.

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'A Discussion of Risk in Living Kidney Donors' and other online education activities
On Tuesday, April 22, at 2 p.m. ET, join a transplant nephrologist, transplant surgeon, and epidemiologist as they discuss the risk of ESRD in living kidney donors, focusing on two recent publications in JAMA and Kidney International. Registration is open now. The presenters will provide:
  • A brief overview of risks of living kidney donation known to date
  • Discussion of the study design, methods and statistics in the manuscripts
  • Implications of the manuscripts on living kidney donation and how to discuss risk with living donors in the context of this new information
AST also offers popular webinars on demand at and at, including understanding the new UNOS/OPTN kidney allocation policy!

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Assessing the efficacy of kidney paired donation-performance of an integrated 3-site program
Transplantation (login required)
Kidney paired donation (KPD) has emerged as a viable option for renal transplant candidates with incompatible living donors. The aim of this study was to assess the "performance" of a three-site KPD program that allowed screening of multiple donors per recipient.
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Report from a consensus conference on primary graft dysfunction after cardiac transplantation
The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation (login required)
Although primary graft dysfunction (PGD) is fairly common early after cardiac transplant, standardized schemes for diagnosis and treatment remain contentious. Most major cardiac transplant centers use different definitions and parameters of cardiac function. Thus, there is difficulty comparing published reports and no agreed protocol for management. A consensus conference was organized to better define, diagnose, and manage PGD.
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Circulating levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and acute cellular rejection in kidney allograft recipients
Transplantation (login required)
Vitamin D, in addition to its established role in bone metabolism, may regulate the immune system and affect the outcome of allografts.Scientists identified 351 kidney allograft recipients who had serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) measured within the first 30 days of transplantation. We evaluated the relationship between the circulating levels of 25(OH)D and acute cellular rejection (ACR), cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease, BK virus nephropathy and kidney graft function.
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3-D heart could become a reality in future
News on Wellness
Transplantation of hearts has seen a new technology in which the scientists are trying to build a 3-D human heart using a person’s own cells. Of course, according to the scientists it is a very ambitious project. Completion could take over a decade as it is very complex, based on trial and error before the printed 3-D heart could be transplanted into a live human being. However, the scientists feel that it is possible because this technology has been used to print human ears, valves and even splints.
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Frailty and outcomes after implantation of left ventricular assist device as destination therapy
The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation (login required)
Frailty is recognized as a major prognostic indicator in heart failure. There has been interest in understanding whether pre-operative frailty is associated with worse outcomes after implantation of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) as destination therapy. Patients undergoing LVAD implantation as destination therapy at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, from February 2007 to June 2012, were included in this study.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Polyomavirus BK viremia in kidney transplant recipients after desensitization with IVIG and rituximab (Transplantation (login required))
2013 practice guideline by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the American Society of Transplantation (Heptaology)
AST announces 2015 Grants Program and RFA (AST)
ESOT + AST: Partnering to bring you the best transplantation science (AST)
Ureteral complications after hand-assisted laparoscopic living donor nephrectomy (Transplantation (login required))

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

Performance of the REVEAL pulmonary arterial hypertension prediction model using non-invasive and routinely measured parameters
The Journal of Heart and Lung transplantation (login required)
The REVEAL model for pulmonary arterial hypertension uses 19 predictors to calculate a 1-year survival probability and can be repeated over time. It is currently unclear which of the 19 variables are the most essential for serial REVEAL score calculation. The study aimed to identify high-yield predictors in the REVEAL score and hypothesized that the model could be simplified considerably without compromising performance.
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Hypernatremia linked to post-liver transplant mortality
HealthDay News via Doctors Lounge
Pre-liver transplant (LTx) hyponatremia does not affect post-LTx survival, but hypernatremia is a significant risk factor for post-LTx mortality, according to a study published online Feb. 25, in Liver Transplantation. Michael D. Leise, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues investigated the impact of pre-LTx serum sodium on post-LTx outcomes.
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Red LED irradiation promotes cell transplantation in treatment of hypoxic-ischemic brain damage
A series of previous studies suggested that the neuronal differentiation rate of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells during the in vitro culture reached 78-92 percent, but their in vivo transplantation efficiency, and survival and differentiation rates were very low. The low levels of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell transplantation, survival, colonization and differentiation efficacy greatly restrict their therapeutic effect. Red or near-infrared light from 600-1,000 nm promotes cellular migration and prevents apoptosis.
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