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High PRA

Posted by Sherrie on June 09, 1999 at 12:19:26
I'm a 36 year old female who's had diabetes for 35 years.  I've posted a couple of questions and you guys always seem to know the answers.  I've had two heart attacks in the past eight months, have eight stents (6- LAD and 2- RCA).  I've recently been listed as Status II on the heart transplant list by Medical City Dallas.
I was just told that my PRA is 98.  My question: I have learned of research being done at the University of Maryland in potential kidney transplant patients and wonder if any of this same type of research is being experimented with in heart patients.  The patients undergo plasmapheresis. They were connected to a machine that removed their blood, separted the serum that contained the rejection antibodies and then returned the red and white blood cells and platelets.  The serum was replaced with a protein solution.  They were also given anti-rejection drugs: Prograf, Cellcept and IVIG.  The patients treated in such a manner went on to have successful kidney transplants.  Would this same type of anti-rejection treatment work with the heart?
Can you tell me where I might get more information about centers working in this arena?  
Thanks for your help,

Posted by CCF CARDIO MD - DLB on June 09, 1999 at 13:47:02
Dear Sherrie
The same drugs are used for preventing rejection in heart and kidney transplant patients. This makes double organ transplant feasible. We are experimenting with simultaneous bone marrow transplant at the time of heart transplantation to decrease the chances of rejection. I am not familiar with the plasmapheresis work.
I hope this has been useful. I wish you the best of luck. Feel free to write back.
Information provided here is for general purposes only. Specific questions should be addressed to your own doctor. If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at www.ccf.org/heartcenter. The Heart Center website contains a directory of the cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your cardiac problem.

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