Successful transplantation of organs from a donor
who died from acute cocaine intoxication

Caballero F, Lopez-Navidad A, Gomez M, Sola R.
Department of Organ & Tissue Procurement for Transplantation,
Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau,
Barcelona, Liver Transplantation Unit,
Hospital Juan Canlejo,
A Coruna, Kidney Transplantation Unit & Nephrology Service,
Fundacion Puigvert, Barcelona, Spain.
Clin Transplant 2003 Apr;17(2):89-92


One to two percent of the general population of western countries are regular consumers of cocaine, 10% being sporadic consumers. This proportion increases considerably in the population age groups which are most frequently organ donors. Cocaine may directly cause brain death, or be present in those with brain death who died from other causes, especially head trauma. We present a 30-yr-old female donor, a regular consumer of inhaled cocaine, who died of brain anoxia after cocaine inhalation. Twenty-five hours after cocaine inhalation, the liver and kidneys were removed for transplantation. The liver was transplanted to a patient with acute hepatocellular failure caused by isoniazids, and the kidneys to two recipients with renal polycystosis. Toxicity attributable to the cocaine was not observed in any of the three recipients. All three grafts presented immediate function, and the clinical evolution of all three recipients and the function of all three grafts were excellent during the 5 yr of follow-up. The serum creatinines of the two kidney recipients 5 yr from transplantation were 76 and 72 &mgr;mol/L, respectively.

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