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Understanding Transplant Rejection

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Transplant rejection may affect up to half of all transplant recipients during their lifetime. The effects of transplant rejection range from poor organ function, to gradual loss of function due to progressive scarring, which can shorten the life of the transplanted organ and the recipient. Rejection is usually suspected when the transplant organ shows clinical evidence of dysfunction. Rejection can also occur without clinical evidence of organ dysfunction. Lastly, organ dysfunction can also be caused by conditions other that rejection, for e.g., infection. Rejection is confirmed by invasive biopsies, which can cause serious complications like bleeding and perforation. Predicting rejection accurately can improve management and improve the life of the transplanted organ.

The most common type of transplant rejection is called acute cellular rejection. Acute cellular rejection is caused by recipient lymphocytes, which attack and destroy cells in the transplanted organ. Therefore, the degree to which recipient lymphocytes express anti-donor activity can be used to determine whether rejection is likely or not. The PleximmuneTM test measures the anti-donor activity of a type of recipient lymphocyte called the T-cytotoxic memory cell (TcM). This activity is measured after stimulating lymphocytes from the recipient with donor or donor-like cells.

The PleximmuneTM blood test allows your healthcare provider to assess whether or not your transplanted liver or intestine is at risk for rejection. The PleximmuneTM test should only be ordered by your healthcare provider. Ask your healthcare provider if the PleximmuneTM test is right for you.