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Organ transplantation is the moving of an organ from one body to another or from a donorsite to another location on the patient’s own body, for the purpose of replacing the recipient’s damaged or absent organ.
Organs and/or tissues that are transplanted within the same person’s body are called autografts. Transplants that are recently performed between two subjects of the same species are called allografts.
Organs that can be transplanted are the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas, intestine, and thymus.
Tissues include bones, tendons (both referred to as musculoskeletal grafts), cornea, skin, heart valves, and veins. Worldwide, the kidneys are the most commonly transplanted organs, followed closely by the liver and then the heart. The cornea and musculoskeletal grafts are the most commonly transplanted tissues. Donors in a transplant procedure may be living or deceased.
Transplantation medicine is one of the most challenging and complex areas of modern medicine. Some of the key areas for medical management are the problems of transplant rejection, during which the body has an immune response to the transplanted organ, possibly leading to transplant failure and the need to immediately remove the organ from the recipient. When possible, transplant rejection can be reduced through serotyping to determine the most appropriate donor-recipient match and through the use of immunosuppressant drugs.
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