Room: N-117/118

369.2 Establishment of a successful deceased donor program in Iran (Video Available)

Seyed Ali Malek-Hosseini, Iran

President of Iranian Society for Organ Transplantation
Shiraz University of Medical Sciences
Shiraz Organ Transplant Center, Abu Ali Sina Hospital


Since the revolutionary effect of cyclosporine in 1980s with a dramatic improvement in the survival of patients, organ transplantation has become the most successful modality for treatment of end-stage organ failure. In the meantime, North America and European and some other countries developed a deceased organ donation program and organ sharing system to facilitate organ transplantation and increase the number of available transplants in order to narrow the gap between demand and supply of organs. However, due to cultural, socioeconomical and particularly religious barriers, Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries could not establish a similar deceased donor program solely developed on the basis of brain dead.

Almost 30 years ago, despite existence of an active paid organ donation system in living-unrelated kidney transplantation in Iran, a group of young physicians and transplant surgeons who were interested in deceased organ donation, decided to establish a nationwide deceased donor program. They started to raise the public awareness through negotiation and meeting with religious leaders, influential officials and nationwide mass media propaganda. Their tremendous effort has ultimately fruited and now we have a very successful national deceased organ donation network in Iran. Shiraz transplantation team has had a central role in this outstanding achievement so that with 638 liver transplantations performed in this single center only in 2017, the center should currently be considered the leading organ transplant center in the world.

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