Outcomes after hand and upper extremity transplantation

  • Jaimie T. Shores
  • Veronika Malek
  • W. P. Andrew Lee
  • Gerald BrandacherEmail author
Tissue Regeneration or Regeneration of Engineered Tissue? Review Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Tissue Regeneration or Regeneration of Engineered Tissue?


Hand and upper extremity transplantation (HUET) has emerged as the most frequently performed reconstructive procedure in the burgeoning field of vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA). VCA refers to a form of transplant with multiple tissue types that represents a viable treatment option for devastating injuries where conventional reconstruction would be unable to restore form and function. As hand transplantation becomes increasingly more common, discussions on advantages and disadvantages of the procedure seem to intensify. Despite encouraging functional outcomes, current immunosuppressive regimens with their deleterious side-effect profile remain a major concern for a life-changing but not life-saving type of transplant. In addition, a growing number of recipients with progressively longer follow-up prompt the need to investigate potential long-term sequelae, such as chronic rejection. This review will discuss the current state of HUET, summarizing outcome data on graft survival, motor and sensory function, as well as immunosuppressive treatment. The implications of these findings for VCA in terms of achievements and challenges ahead will then be discussed.


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaimie T. Shores
    • 1
  • Veronika Malek
    • 1
    • 2
  • W. P. Andrew Lee
    • 1
  • Gerald Brandacher
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg Medical FacultyHeidelbergGermany

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