Solid organ transplant has become the therapy of choice for patients with end stage heart, liver, and kidney disease. However the transplantation of the lung and pancreas are becoming increasingly performed, particularly in combination with either heart or kidney transplants, respectively. Successful organ transplantation has come from a greater understanding and application of pharmacology, cellular biochemistry, immunology, microbiology, and other disciplines. Suppression of the host’s immune system and prevention of rejection are vital for host acceptance of transplanted organ. The ultimate goal is permanent acceptance or tolerance. A basic understanding of the immune system and mechanism of rejection is pivotal to use immunosuppressive drugs effectively.
Further reading: - Kamradt T, Mitchison NA. Tolerance and autoimmunity. N Engl J Med 2001; 344: 655-64.
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