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Transplantation

Types Of Transplants

There are four basic types of transplants, which reflect the genetic relationship of the recipient to the donor. The autograft is the transfer of tissue from one location of an individual's body to another location that is in need of healthy tissue; in other words, the recipient is also the donor. Common examples of autografts are skin transplants in burn patients and bypass surgery in patients suffering from coronary heart disease. The syngraft is a transplantation procedure carried out between two genetically identical individuals. These types of transplants, like autografts, are always successful, unless there have been technical problems during the surgery. The first successful human kidney transplant was a syngraft, carried out in 1954 between identical twins.

An allograft is the transfer of tissue or an organ between nonidentical members of the same species. This is the predominant form of transplantation today, and allografts have dominated transplant research for many years. Finally, the xenograft represents the most disparate of genetic relationships, because it is the transfer of tissue or organs between members of different species. Many think that xenografts are the answer for solving the shortage of transplant tissue and organs that we are currently experiencing. Both allo-grafts and xenografts have the disadvantage that the recipient's immune system is designed to recognize and reject foreign tissue.

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaGenetics in Medicine - Part 4Transplantation - Types Of Transplants, The Genetic Basis Of Transplant Rejection, The Mechanisms Of Transplant Rejection, The Supply Crisis In Transplantation