After a 7 year study of New Zealand, Australian and Swiss
kidney transplant patients, US doctors have come up with a non invasive, simple
urine test to detect rejection of the newly transplanted kidney.
When a kidney transplant is done on a patient, it does not
end there. The patient's immune system has the ability to detect a foreign
organ and can start attacking the new kidney as a foreign body. In order to
circumvent this problem, the patient has to take strong immuno suppressant
drugs for the rest of his or her life.
It is important to detect this rejection as soon as possible
so that the patient is administered several immune suppressant drugs and the
new organ is saved and continues to function.
Usually this detection is done by an invasive biopsy
procedure which is of much discomfort to the patient. Fortunately, the doctors
have found out that whenever the body rejects the new kidney, a molecule called
Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) is released into urine, and by measuring
the level of MHC molecules in urine, the doctors can accurately pick up kidney
rejection. Also, this test gives results several days before organ rejection
can be detected by the standard biopsy procedure, saving precious time.