Vol 48, No 3 (2020)

Cover Page

Full Issue


The donor potential of twenty six donor bases in the Russian Federation: external audit (a pilot project)

Vinogradov V.L., Gubarev K.K., Zakhlevnyy A.I., Svetlakova D.S.


Rationale: The imbalance between the need for donor organs and their current availability is a growing problem for all countries. An assessment of potential donor numbers is considered to be an important step towards better understanding of the problem as a whole at the national scale. This would help to build up a concept of a successful strategy to resolve this inequity.

Aim: To analyze the use of external audit of the efficacy of identification of potential organ donors with confirmed brain death.

Materials and methods: As a part of a pilot project aimed to increase the efficacy of donor bases of the Russian Federal Medical Biological Agency (FMBA), we retrospectively analyzed 5932 medical files of patients who died from 2014 to 2018 in the departments of resuscitation and intensive care units of 26 medical establishments serving as a donor bases in Moscow, Orenburg, Saratov, Abakan, Stavropol and FMBA of Russia. The probability of brain death was assessed with a special QAPDD (Quality Assurance Program in the Deceased Donation Process) technique focused on organ donation after brain death which is used for external audit in Spanish hospitals.

Results: Clinical manifestation of brain death were identified in 20.3% (95% confidence interval (CI) 18.4–22.4) of the patients aged 18 to 65 years with severe primary and secondary brain injury who died in the departments of resuscitation and had been maintained on mechanical ventilation at least 12 hours until their death was confirmed. The rate of potential donor identification with clinical manifestations of brain death in the donating in-patient departments was 12% (95% CI 10.5–13.7) of those who died with severe primary and secondary brain injury. The external audit performed in 26 donating in-patient departments, has shown that 41% (95% CI 35.8–46.4) of potential donors with brain death were not identified.

Conclusion: With the use of the QAPDD technique in our study, we found that 41% of potential donors were not identified in the Russian in-patient clinics participating in organ donation. Based on the information obtained during the audit of medical files in intensive care units, we can make realistic conclusions on the current system of organ donation, identify potential pitfalls in the identification procedures of potential donors, increase the efficacy of donation process, and to improve the system as a whole. The process could become effective only through the activities of specially trained donor hospital transplant coordinators.

Almanac of Clinical Medicine. 2020;48(3):153-161
pages 153-161 views

Split liver transplantation: a single center experience

Gautier S.V., Monakhov A.R., Tsiroulnikova O.M., Latypov R.A., Dzhanbekov T.A., Mescheryakov S.V., Semash K.O., Zubenko S.I., Khizroev K.M., Chekletsova E.V.


Background: Split liver transplantation is used worldwide and allows for an increase of donor organ pool, especially for pediatric recipients. Donor selection, some aspects of surgical techniques and long-term results remain to be important issues of split liver transplantation.

Aim: To analyze our own clinical results of split liver transplantation, basic principles of deceased donor selection and specifics of surgical technique.

Materials and methods: From May 2008 to December 2019, 32 cases of division of the deceased donor liver for transplantation to two recipients have been performed (64 split liver transplantations). Liver was divided into the left lateral section and the extended right lobe in 30 cases (“classical split”), and into the left lobe and right lobe in two cases (“full-split”). In 22 cases, the liver grafts were split in situ and in 10, ex-situ.

Results: In the recipients of left-side transplants (left lateral section and whole left lobe), the one-, three-, and five-year survival rates were 80, 80, and 60%, respectively. In the right-sided transplant recipients (extended right lobe and right lobe), the one-, three-, and five-year survival rates were 93.3, 89.4, and 89.4%, respectively (p = 0.167). The most probable risk factors for mortality in the univariate analysis were liver retransplantation (p = 0.047) and patient’s weight (p = 0.04).

Conclusion: For split transplantation, it is advisable to consider donors with a high-quality liver. This technique demonstrates satisfactory results and can be viewed as effective for patients with terminal liver diseases.

Almanac of Clinical Medicine. 2020;48(3):162-170
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The first experience with the fully-covered self-expandable nitinol stents in the management of anastomotic biliary strictures after orthotopic liver transplantation

Shabunin A.V., Korzheva I.Y., Chechenin G.M., Lebedev S.S., Drozdov P.A., Zhuravel O.S., Astapovich S.A.


Background: Biliary anastomosis strictures after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) develop in 5–12% of patients. This complication significantly impairs the patients’ quality of life and can lead to graft loss.

Aim: To analyze the first experience in the use of coated self-expanding nitinol stents in patients with biliary anastomosis strictures after OLT.

Materials and methods: From December 2018 to January 2019, there were 5 patients with anastomotic strictures after OLT in the Department of Organ and/or Tissue Transplantation of the S.P. Botkin Municipal Clinical Hospital. All patients underwent endoscopic stenting of strictures with a self-expanding nitinol-coated stent. In all patients, the stent was removed at 3 months after its placement.

Results: No complications and deaths were recorded in this patient group. The median duration of the follow-up after stent removal was 14.15 ± 2.35 (3–17) months, with no cases of restenosis identified.

Conclusion: The use of coated nitinol stents in the management of patients with anastomotic strictures after liver transplantation is effective and safe. The possibility of their use in routine clinical practice requires confirmation in further studies.

Almanac of Clinical Medicine. 2020;48(3):171-176
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Thrombotic microangiopathy after kidney transplantation: causes, clinical specifics and outcomes

Prokopenko E.I., Shcherbakova E.O., Kantaria R.O., Stepanov V.A.


Background: Thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) is a clinical and morphological phenomenon characterized by specific microvascular injury, microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, and damage of various target organs. TMA after kidney transplantation (post-renal transplant TMA) is a serious complication affecting the recipient and graft survival.

Aim: To analyze the timing, causes, specifics of the clinical course and outcomes of TMA in renal transplant recipients.

Materials and methods: This one-center study was based on a comprehensive examination and follow-up of 697 patients who had undergone 728 kidney transplantations (KT) from deceased donors in 2003–2019. Post-transplant TMA of the renal graft was confirmed morphologically in all cases.

Results: We identified 32 episodes of post-transplant TMA in 32 patients; thus, the incidence of TMA was 4.4%. All cases developed after KT de novo; no recurrent TMA was observed. TMA was systemic in 37.5% and locally renal in 62.5% of the patients. The median time to the development of post-transplant TMA was 0.55 (range, 0.1 to 51.6) months. The patients with TMA did not differ from those without by gender, age, body mass index, underlying disorders, type and duration of dialysis before KT, protocols of immunosuppressive therapy, incidence of surgical, urological, infectious, cardiovascular and oncological complications. The patients with TMA were significantly more likely to have graft rejection (25.0% vs 11.2%, p = 0.035) and a never-functioning transplant (28.1% vs 4.9%, p < 0.001). The presence of TMA negatively affected the transplantation outcomes. The cumulative 1-year graft survival in the patients without and with TMA was 91% and 44%, respectively, whereas their 5-year survival rates were 68% and 25% (p < 0.001). The leading causes of TMA were: donor pathology (31.2%), antibody-mediated rejection (28.1%), and cyclosporine/tacrolimus nephrotoxicity (21.9%); the proportion of other causes was 18.8%. A combination of TMA etiological factors was identified in 68.7% of the recipients. The recipients with of calcineurin inhibitors nephrotoxicity had a more favorable prognosis compared to those with other causes of TMA.

Conclusion: Post-renal transplant TMA is an infrequent but serious complication that worsens the graft survival and often is life-threatening for recipients. In most cases, TMA develops in the early post-operative period; however, it can occur any time thereafter. To improve the outcome of TMA, early diagnosis is necessary based on clinical suspicion and a prompt biopsy of the renal graft with suspected TMA. Treatment should be started quickly with consideration of the cause of the complication.

Almanac of Clinical Medicine. 2020;48(3):177-186
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SuPAR-based choice of the management strategy in kidney transplant recipients with infection

Rapetskaya N.V., Komissarov K.S., Kalachik O.V.


Background: Infectious complications are a major problem in transplantology of today. Soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) could be one of the markers of infection in kidney transplant recipients. Aim: To determine the potential of suPAR implementation into clinical practice to choose the management strategy in kidney graft recipients with infectious complications.

Materials and methods: We conducted a single center, open-label pilot trial in 30 kidney graft recipients aged above 18 years, with clinical signs of infection (body temperature above 37.5 °С, dysuria or respiratory manifestations). Patients with diabetes mellitus, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, chronic heart failure and cancer, as well as those with glomerular filtration rate below 15 mL/min/1.73 m2 were excluded. The patients were divided into 2 groups: those who were hospitalized to the nephrology department and those who were treated as outpatients.

Results: There was no difference in suPAR levels between the inand out-patients with kidney transplant and infectious complications (12.8 [10.4; 15] and 10.8 [7.6; 14.5] ng/mL, respectively, р = 0.194). The mean duration of hospitalization for infectious complications was 17.9 ± 10 days. SuPAR levels in the patients with a short in-hospital stay was 12.35 [9.6; 15] ng/mL, being not significantly different from that in the patients who required prolonged hospitalization (15 [10.4; 15] ng/mL, р = 0.347).

Conclusion: We have made the first attempt to use the permeability factor suPAR in kidney transplant patients with clinical signs of infections at an out-patient visit to decide if they should be hospitalized to the nephrology department for in-patient treatment. The results obtained indicate that the stratification of the risk of death and unfavorable disease course, as well as the recommendations for patient managements developed for the general population, are not applicable to kidney transplant recipients. The results of this pilot trial have shown that high suPAR levels are not always indicative of severe status in the patients with kidney transplant and infectious complications. The predictive value of the marker for unfavorable disease course and death in this patient category remains vague.

Almanac of Clinical Medicine. 2020;48(3):187-192
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Preservation and perfusion rehabilitation of donor organs: achievements of the last decade

Reznik O.N., Skvortsov A.E., Moysyuk Y.G.


At present, it is widely recognized that machine perfusion allows for a decreased rate of delayed function of the renal graft and of the risk of liver graft early dysfunction. The aim of the review is to present the actual changes of the donor pool related to prevailing numbers of donors by expanded criteria, to determine the prospects of expanding of the available donor pool based on their selection, as well as development of functional rehabilitation and modification at tissue, cell and molecular levels with the help of perfusion technologies. The article presents the state-of-the art view on the mechanisms of ischemic-reperfusion injury of donor organs, delineates the trends in the maintenance of their viability, and gives the literature data on the role and outlook of perfusion methods in organ transplantation. The authors provide the rationale for a comprehensive systemic approach to the assessment of the functional status of a donor organ with any baseline parameters and discuss a number of theoretical provisions on the implementation of a personalized perfusion approach to ensure the availability of transplantation care.

Almanac of Clinical Medicine. 2020;48(3):193-206
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Extracorporeal photopheresis in solid organ transplantation

Kildyushevsky A.V., Moysyuk Y.G., Molochkov A.V., Mitina T.A., Faenko A.P.


Despite the use of up-to-date immunosuppressive agents, graft rejection episodes are quite common and pose a serious threat to thousands of solid organ recipients. Continuous use of various combinations of immunosuppressants cause serious complications, such as arterial hypertension, post-transplant diabetes mellitus, renal failure, increased risk of infections, malignant neoplasms, etc. The attempts to achieve the desired or forced minimization of the graft immunosuppression are associated with the threat of its rejection, which makes it necessary to search for less toxic, non-medical, immunological, including cellular, management methods. One of the promising methods based on cell technology is extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP). ECP is a well-established second line therapy recommended for the prevention and treatment of refractory rejection of a heart transplant. ECP improves the pulmonary allograft functioning in patients with treatment resistant obliterating bronchiolitis syndrome. However, its value as a preventive method has not yet been established. ECP effectiveness for induction, maintenance, or anti-crisis therapy in transplantation of kidney, liver or other solid organs has been rather convincing, but the lack of randomized multicenter studies limits its use. The optimal ECP strategy has not been yet established. Nevertheless, current understanding of the pathophysiological and immunological aspects of ECP is sufficient to develop a standard methodology and technology for the procedure, as well as for a quality control system for ECP in kidney and liver transplant recipients. The review discusses possible mechanisms of the immunomodulating effect of ECP. ECP is being increasingly studied in prospective randomized trials with larger samples. This allows for an extension of its clinical indications with clear criteria, as well as for studying its multifactorial underlying immunomodulating mechanism of action. Further research is needed to identify biomarkers that could predict ECP effectiveness in solid organ transplantation.

Almanac of Clinical Medicine. 2020;48(3):207-224
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A clinical case of the successful VAC therapy in a patient with surgical wound infection after kidney transplantation

Shabunin A.V., Parfenov I.P., Podkosov O.D., Drozdov P.A., Eremin D.A., Nesterenko I.V., Makeev D.A.


Surgical wound infection is the most common complication after kidney transplantation. It is associated with a prolonged hospital stay, repeated surgical procedures, significant costs, which explains the constant search for optimized treatment for wound infections. We describe a clinical case of a patient with an infected lymphocele of the upper pole of the renal graft at Day 29 after kidney transplantation from a donor after brain death. The infected lymphocele was opened and VAC system was installed without the removal of the graft. With antibiotic therapy and modification of the immunosuppressive therapy, the graft function remained stable and no generalization of the infection occurred. The wound was completely clean at Day 28 of VAC therapy, with subsequent tight closure of the wound. The patient was discharged with a functioning graft.

Almanac of Clinical Medicine. 2020;48(3):225-229
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