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Seven Cases of CJD in U.K. Transplant Patients

Mean incubation period was 93 months

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- There were seven cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in the United Kingdom associated with human dura mater transplants between 1970 and 2003, according to a report published online in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. What's more, an additional case was diagnosed in a patient with a porcine dura mater transplant, which would make it a worldwide first, although it may have been a case of sporadic CJD.

Richard S.G. Knight, F.R.C.P., of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and colleagues note that all seven cases were reported via the U.K.'s CJD surveillance system and all occurred as a result of transplanted human dura mater used in cranial and surgical repair.

Transmission of CJD in this manner is rare, with only 164 cases reported worldwide. Although the risk to U.K. patients is unknown, research from Australia suggests the figure in that country is one in 500, while Japan has an estimated risk at one in 1,000-2,000.

"A disproportionately large number of cases were exposed between 1983 and 1987 (80 percent of those worldwide and six of the seven cases in the United Kingdom). Interestingly, the apparent reduction in the number of cases post-1987 coincided with the introduction of stringent donor selection criteria and also the introduction of sodium hydroxide immersion techniques in the manufacturing process," the authors write.

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