Organ Transplant Study Looking for Participants
Women with chronic kidney disease are usually infertile.
When kidney transplantation was established clinically in the early 1960s, it became apparent that normal ovulation and menstrual periods returned postoperatively. The first pregnancies in female kidney transplant patients were unexpected.
By 1987 more than 2000 pregnancies had been documented in these women, and 14,000 pregnancies had been reported in transplant patients worldwide by 2001. Pregnancies have occurred in women with kidney, liver, pancreas, heart and lung transplants, and reporting of all pregnancies is no longer widespread practice.
Transplant patients have to take immunosuppressive drugs to prevent rejection of the transplanted organ and when a woman with a transplant becomes pregnant, these potent drugs cross the placenta from the mother to the baby during development of the baby’s immune system. Most of these infants have been healthy at birth and through early childhood. Although it has been suggested that fetal exposure to these drugs could be associated with later development of infections, autoimmune diseases, pregnancy problems and perhaps even malignancies, it is unknown whether any of these occur.
Children who were born to transplant patients before 1995 are now adults, and many of the daughters have by now had pregnancies themselves. There have been no long-term follow up on these daughters, primarily because it has been difficult to locate them. This is because adult daughters of transplant patients are not routinely followed by any specific group of physicians, specialty, hospitals or programs. However, it is important to know that they continue to be in good health and that their own pregnancies are normal.
This information would be reassuring to transplant patients, their daughters, and their physicians. Conversely, it would also be important to know if any unrecognized health or pregnancy problems are occurring in order to counsel transplant patients before attempting pregnancy and to inform the daughters of any potential risks.
It is for these reasons that we are conducting a survey of the adult daughters of transplant patients who have had pregnancies and are asking them to take a short survey. To confirm eligibility for the study and obtain a survey, please send an email with "Transplant Study - HealthFeed" in the subject line to James R. Scott, M.D. at firstname.lastname@example.org.