Xenotransplantation is a potential strategy to overcome the shortage of human donor organs. As this technique has a major medical and psychological impact on patients and their family and friends, the attitude of patients currently waiting for organ transplantation is important. Therefore, we conducted a survey on the attitude toward xenotransplantation of patients on the waiting list and already transplanted patients. Patients received detailed information before being asked to fill in the questionnaire. We found that 65% would accept xenotransplantation, irrespective of gender, education level or if the patients were on the waiting list or already transplanted. The most common concern was transmission of diseases or genetic material, followed by psychological concerns and ethical issues. More patients had a positive attitude toward accepting cell or tissue transplantation when compared to whole organs. Pig pancreas islet cell transplantation is generally well accepted, patients with diabetes mellitus show even higher acceptance rates than patients without diabetes. In conclusion, xenotransplantation seems to be well accepted in patients who are potential future candidates for organ transplantation. Informing patients about the current status of research tended to decrease acceptance rates slightly.
© 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.