Attitude toward xenotransplantation among residents

A Ríos, C Conesa, P Ramírez, P J Galindo, J M Rodríguez, M J Montoya, P Parrilla
Transplantation Proceedings 2005, 37 (9): 4111-6

INTRODUCTION: The deficit in transplant organs has made it necessary to search for alternatives, among them research into xenotransplantation. However, the use of animal organs may cause rejection in society and among health professionals. The objective was to analyze the acceptance of this therapy among Residents, given that they would be the professionals most involved in its application if such a therapy proves to be useful.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A random sample stratified by the services of the Residents in a third-level hospital with an organ transplant program and accredited for teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels (n = 171). The attitude toward xenotransplantation was evaluated using a questionnaire that analyzes different pychosocial variables that may influence such attitude.(5)

RESULTS: The sample consisted of 171 residents (mean age 28 +/- 4 years; 56% women). Attitudes toward xenotransplantation, whether the results were similar to those obtained with human organs, were positive in 81% (n = 138) of cases, with 16% (n = 27) having doubts and 3% (n = 6) being against. The attitude was more favorable among residents in favor of cadaveric donation (83% vs 57%; P < .05) and of living donation either of the kidney (90% vs 55%; P < .001) or of the liver (88% vs 56%; P < .001), and among those who consider that they might need a transplant at a given point in the future (88% vs 73%; P < .05).

CONCLUSION: Residents have a positive attitude toward the application of a possible xenotransplantation in safe conditions similar to those that currently exist in human organ donation. Such a favorable attitude was greatly influenced by a positive attitude toward human organ donation, in cadaveric as well as in living donation, and when considering oneself to be a possible candidate for a transplant.

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