Organ transplant

From ArticleWorld

Organ transplant is an operation that involves the transplant of a part of, or a whole organ from one body to another (donor to receiver), in order to replace the former's malfunctioning organ.

Types of transplant

There are three basic types of organ transplant:

  • Autograft: This is a particular case of transplant, when the receiver and the donor are the same person. This is done with surplus tissue, or tissue that can easily regenerate and is needed in some other part of the body. The most common example is the skin graft, when skin is prelevated from one part of the body and applied somewhere else. Sometimes, this has a different purpose -- that is, storing the tissue, and treating, either the tissue or the person, and then putting it back, with the most common example being stem-cell autograft.
  • Allograft: This is the most common type of organ transplant, that is, transplant of organs from and to individuals of the same species, but genetically different. A special type of allograft transplant is the isograft transplant, when the tissue or organ is prelevated from a donor genetically very close to the receiver, like an identical twin. Immunologically, it is closer to an autograft transplant, and some specialists even consider it an autograft transplant.
  • Xenograft: This is a special type of transplant, involving donors and receivers of different species. Porcine heart valves have been successfully transplanted and are quite common. However, other transplants (like transplanting the heart of a baboon to a human) have failed.

Major transplanted organs and tissues

Many solid organs can be transplanted, including the heart, lung (separated or en bloc), liver, kidney, pancreas, small intestine and hand. Transplanted tissues include blood, heart valve, bone and skin tissue.


Most donors are deceased, but some living donors exist, especially relatives of the receiver or poor people from undeveloped countries, where legislation allows organ selling.