Preface

Organ transplantation is increasingly complex and at the same time increasingly effective. The lengthening waiting list for cadaver organs now exceeds the supply several-fold. Despite its high profile, not more than 25,000 organs are transplanted each year in the United States with a population of 270 million. Most practicing physicians encounter only a few transplant recipients during a year of practice. This volume was written as a quick, but comprehensive, reference for medical students, residents, fellows, nurses, and practicing physicians who interface intermittently with recipients and transplant teams. It contains twenty-one chapters and twelve essays; together they present the standard of practice and also controversial issues such as the ethical dilemma of long waiting lists, noncompliance with long-term immunosuppression, the relationship between acute and chronic rejection, the living organ donor, the older cadaver donor, laparoscopic nephrectomy, retransplantation, organ banks and the national transplant network's criteria for allocating organs to potential recipients, and the promise of xenotransplantation. Appendix I includes detailed information about immunosuppressive drugs.

We thank colleagues who have so generously shared their wisdom and insights in this volume and we solicit comments from the reader about improving content and presentation of the material.

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