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Lung diseases

Lung Donor Compatibility

05/03/1999

Question:

How likely is it that I would be able to be a lung transplant donor for my husband who has emphysema?

Answer:

Usually, organ donors must match several characteristics with the recipient, such as blood type and the type of proteins that are expressed on the cells. This is done to minimize the chance of rejection of the organ by the recipient`s body. Since these characteristics are inherited, blood relatives are the best source of donors, but sometimes others may match closely enough. You will need to discuss this in detail with your husband`s doctors, who can advise you if testing for donor compatibility is warranted.

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Response by:

Stuart Green, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pathobiology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati