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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Transplant triggers blood type change

THE TIMES OF INDIA
Transplant triggers blood type change
24 Jan 2008, 0030 hrs IST,AFP

In a first, girl's blood type changes after liver transplant

SYDNEY: An Australian girl spontaneously switched blood groups and adopted her donor's immune system following a liver transplant in the first known case of its type, doctors treating her said on Thursday.

Demi-Lee Brennan was aged nine and seriously ill with liver failure when she received the transplant, doctors at a top Sydney children's hospital said.

Nine months later it was discovered that she had changed blood types and her immune system had switched over to that of the donor after stem cells from the new liver migrated to her bone marrow.

She is now a healthy 15-year-old, Michael Stormon, a hepatologist treating her, said. Stormon said he had given several presentations on the case around the world and had heard of none like it. "It is extremely unusual — in fact we don't know of any other instance in which this happened," Stormon said from the Children's Hospital.

"In effect she had had a bone marrow transplant. The majority of her immune system had also switched over to that of the donor."

Doctors who treated Brennan say she is now only under treatment as an outpatient and are interested to know if the case could have other applications in transplant surgery, where rejection of donor organs by the recipient's immune system is a major hurdle.

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