Risk estimates of facial surgery challenged

October 2, 2007

Louisville, Ky. - A new study suggests that estimates of the immunologic risks of facial transplantation may be based on factors that are irrelevant to the controversial procedure, HealthDay News reports.

Louisville, Ky. - A new study suggests that estimates of the immunologic risks of facial transplantation may be based on factors that are irrelevant to the controversial procedure, HealthDay News reports.

Researchers at the University of Louisville in Kentucky estimated a variety of risks of face transplantation based on kidney and hand transplantation studies that used tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil and corticosteroids to prevent rejection. The study’s authors found that previous influential risk estimates are inaccurate because they are based on other immunosuppressive regimens.

The study also notes that the status of solid-organ recipients in previous studies was different than face transplant recipients, and the relevant qualities of solid organs in previous studies differ from those of facial tissues.

The study reports the true risk of rejection ranges from 10 percent to 70 percent incidence, acute rejection reversibility is about 100 percent and chronic rejection over five years is less than 10 percent.

The study appears in the Sept. 1 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.