Gender of the Donor May Impact Organ Rejection Rates in Transplant Patients

A new study by researchers at Harvard Medical School finds that men and women who receive organ transplants can have different rates of rejection depending on the gender of the person who donated the organ.

The study found that patients who received a kidney transplant from a woman donor were more likely to reject the organ than if the donor was a man. This was particularly true for when the transplant patient was a man.

For heart transplants patients, those who receive new hearts from women donors also have a higher rate of organ rejection than patients who receive a heart from a male donor. But female heart transplant patients do not have a higher rates of rejection if they receive a heart from a woman donor.

Stefan G. Tullius, a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, states that “in solid organ transplantation, the importance and implications of the sex of both the donor and the recipient have long been underappreciated. The differences may be subtle but I think they are very relevant.”

Transplant rejection is a complicated phenomenon with many contributing factors, and the researchers note that mismatched sex of a donor should not be cause for concern for transplant recipients.

The study, “The Impact of Sex on Alloimmunity,” was published in the journal Trends in Immunology. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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