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Preparing for the Transplant | Other Organs

Pretransplant tests, in addition to giving a clear picture of your overall health, help identify potential problems before they occur. They also help determine whether transplantation is your best option. This increases the likelihood of success.

Your pretransplant medical evaluation may depend on the organ to be transplanted. Here is a list of potential tests your transplant team may order:

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  • Physical exam
  • Chest x-ray
  • Complete medical and surgical history
  • Blood tests – These tests include blood count, blood and tissue type, blood chemistries, and immune system function. Your blood will also be checked for certain infectious diseases
  • Blood typing – Every person is a blood type A, B, AB or O. Your blood will be checked to determine if it is compatible with the recipient
  • Pulmonary function test — These tests show how well your lungs are working
  • Upper and lower gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopies – These evaluations can detect abnormalities of your esophagus, stomach, and intestine
  • Tissue typing – Your white blood cells will be tested for special "markers" that distinguish "tissue type" needed to match the transplanted organ
  • Hemodynamic monitoring — Sonar-type echos may be used to detect high blood pressure in your heart and lungs or a catheter may be placed in the heart for periods of six to 12 hours
  • Echocardiogram — Sonar-type echos can show abnormalities in the heart and blood flow in the heart
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) — Asseses the electrical activity within your heart
  • Radionuclide scans (resting and/or stress) — Assesses blood flow to the heart muscle. Areas of poor blood flow to the heart muscle do not 'take up' the radionuclide material very well
  • Renal function studies — Your doctor may ask you to collect your urine (usually for 24 hours) to evaluate if your kidneys are working properly. Blood tests such as serum creatinine are performed to measure kidney function
  • Panel Reactive Antibody (PRA) — This is one way of measuring the activity of your immune system (higher PRA means your are making more antibodies)
  • Viral testing — Blood tests can reveal if you have been exposed to hepatitis, Epstein-Barr (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Tests for osteoporosis — Screening for osteoporosis may be ordered by DEXA scan or other means
  • Biopsy — Evaluates a little piece of tissue from an organ
  • Mammogram — Breast x-rays to look for signs of breast cancer in women
  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and prostate exams — To screen for prostate cancer in men
  • Dental Examinations
  • Other tests — Your doctor may order other tests as well