Blood Clot Preventive Drugs Found to Protect Organs During Transplant

Protective strategy may keep organs safe and functioning optimally after the procedure.

Protective strategy may keep organs safe and functioning optimally after the procedure.

Organs that become damaged during transplantation may be protected and allowed to function optimally following the procedure as a result of a new protective strategy.

During the process of transplanting an organ from a donor to a recipient, the organ is deprived of normal blood flow for a time period. The lack of blood in and of itself can cause tissue damage, however, additional damage can potentially occur when blood flow is restored to the organ as a result of the high risk for blood clotting.

Researchers in France examined whether anticoagulants or blood thinners might aid in the protection of transplant organs against these effects. The study evaluated the potential of fondaparinux used in an experimental model of kidney transplantation.

The anticoagulant was found to generate improved kidney function both immediately after transplantation and several months following the procedure. The strategy may prove to be a vital addition to current transplant protocols in order to limit tissue damage, while improving outcomes in patients receiving organ transplants, including heart, kidney, liver, lung, and pancreas transplants.

"People die every day from the lack of available organs. This study demonstrates the benefits of anticoagulation therapy using new and original drugs at the time of organ collection," lead investigator Thierry Hauet, MD, PhD, said in a press release. "Such therapy could augment the pool of available organs and allow for the safe use of marginal organs, which have characteristics associated with poorer outcomes or come from donors with medical complexities."