Researchers now say that a simple urine test may help doctors determine who will experience kidney failure or organ rejection after transplant surgery.
In the study, researchers analyzed 34 urine samples from 32 kidney patients who had transplant surgery. Thirteen protein markers were present in most samples of patients who experienced organ rejection, but none appeared in samples of patients who did not experience organ rejection. The urine analysis correctly identified more than 90 percent of the urine samples.
Researchers say their results could lead to a urine test that would save patients from having to undergo painful biopsies. A urine test would also be cheaper and safer than a biopsy. Researchers also say that it could radically change the way transplant patients are managed and frequent, noninvasive monitoring could allow doctors to better tailor immunosuppression drugs according to individual patient's needs, prescribing lower doses to more stable patients or increasing doses for patients who show early signs of rejection.