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CHAPTER 6









         THE SCIENCE IN MORE DETAIL






                                            WHAT ARE ANTIBODIES?




               he body makes millions
               of antibodies, which
        Tare primarily intended
        to fight off disease. However,
        when people have a blood
        transfusion, pregnancy,
        previous transplant or some
        infections, they can produce
        so-called ‘HLA antibodies’
        which react with donor tissue
        and possibly damage it.
           It is therefore preferable
        to find a kidney against
        which you do not have
        antibodies.
           You will hear the doctor
        talk about PRA or PGEN.
        This is a measure of the
        probability of having
        antibodies against         “If the recipient
        1,000 Irish donors;      has a PGEN of 0%
        it is a measure of       then they have no
        how hard it will be    antibodies and should
        to find a suitable       not have difficulty          has a sibling, who is a
        compatible donor.         finding a suitable          ‘perfect match’, then      “If the recipient
        If the recipient has a          donor.”               antibodies are               has a sibling
        PGEN of 0% then they                                  generally not              who is a ‘perfect
        have no antibodies and                                important.                   match’, then
        should not have difficulty finding a suitable         However, even               antibodies are
        donor. Conversely, if the recipient has a PGEN of     patients with 100%           generally not
        100%, they will have great difficulty finding         PRA can be                    important.”
        a suitable kidney donor and will most likely          transplanted if the right
        have a prolonged wait on dialysis. If the recipient   donor comes along.






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