Many UK Patients are dying on waiting lists for kidney transplants, perhaps unnecessarily.
In 2018/19, 260 patients died on the organ transplant waiting list while waiting for a kidney transplant in the UK, which is by far the highest number of waiting list deaths compared to other organs.1
Meanwhile, a huge number of donor kidneys are unnecessarily being discarded in the UK. Today, many kidney donations are ‘Extended Criteria Donor’ (ECD) organs whose donors are normally aged 60 years or older, or over 50 years with additional risk factors, e.g. high blood pressure.
Between 15 and 20% of ECD kidneys are discarded rather than used for transplantation.2 Moreover, the rate that all deceased donor kidneys are being discarded increased significantly from 5% in 2002-3 to 12% in 2011-12.3
A recent study tested to see if the discarded kidneys were discarded appropriately. These kidneys had been offered to an average of 3 centres before they were discarded, and the study found that 65% of the kidneys tested were either usable or possibly usable.4
Another recent study also tested whether discarded kidneys were being discarded appropriately. It found that 32% of discarded kidneys were usable.5
These kidneys are being discarded simply because we do not currently possess reliable methods to be able to assess donor organs before transplant. We need very reliable methods to assess (and improve) the condition of donor kidneys to ensure that the recipient receives a safe transplant with a good long-term outcome.
Accunea, a continuous, real-time biochemistry monitoring company has developed a cutting-edge solution to this problem. They have developed a small bedside device called RenoSure, which monitors multiple biomarkers of organ function continuously and in real-time.
RenoSure mainly monitors the kidney, but other organs (including the liver and pancreas) can also be monitored for transplantation. RenoSure offers an unparalleled ability for close-monitoring of the kidney function of kidney transplant patients both pre and post-operatively; this guarantees that all patients receive a kidney in the best possible condition, and it also guarantees that they recover without complications.
Kidney transplantation is the only cure for dialysis-dependent renal failure, meaning each transplantation saves lives and money for healthcare systems. However, the function of the implanted organ is typically unknown until after surgery which is where RenoSure can help.
Accunea’s technology has proved to be successful in animal trials and now they want to progress to clinical trials.
- Statista 2020 https://www.statista.com/statistics/519829/patient-deaths-on-organ-transplant-waiting-list-united-kingdom-uk/
- Clinical Kidney Journal, Volume 12, Issue 4, August 2019, Pages 564–568, https://doi.org/10.1093/ckj/sfz032
- Analysis of the UK Transplant Registry
- Department of Surgery, University of Cambridge and NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, Cambridge, UK.
- Department of Nephrology and Transplantation, Guy’s Hospital, London, United Kingdom. 2 Department of Histopathology, Guy’s Hospital, London, United Kingdom. 3 Department of Surgery University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom. 4 NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, United Kingdom.