Bahnbrechende Operation in den USA: Erster Patient weltweit bekommt Schweineherz transplantiert

11 Jan. 2022 16:11

A team of doctors in the United States performed a unique operation that resulted in the first genetically modified pig heart being transplanted into a human. According to experts, this could be a medical breakthrough that would go a long way towards solving organ scarcity.

As part of an experimental procedure, a human being in the United States was implanted with a genetically modified pig heart for the first time in the history of medicine. The hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, where the operation was performed, announced the newspaper on Monday Guardian With.

The patient is David Bennett, 57, who suffered from heart failure and arrhythmia. Because of his life-threatening heart disease, the American was classified as unsuitable for a human donor heart or heart pump. The day before the operation, Bennett defended his decision to undergo the transplant. According to a statement from the University of Maryland Medical Center, he said:

“It was either dying or doing this transplant. I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last chance.”

According to the newspaper, the operation last Friday took a total of seven hours. The patient is currently doing well and can now breathe independently again, but remains connected to a heart-lung machine. In the coming weeks, medics intend to continue to monitor Bennett’s condition closely.

While earlier attempts at such transplants, known as xenografts, had largely failed, this time surgeons in Maryland said they used a pig heart that had genetically manipulated a sugar in the cells that was responsible for rapid organ rejection. The declaration of the Medical Center also stated:

“This organ transplant shows for the first time that a genetically modified animal heart can function like a human heart without the body rejecting it immediately.”

The doctor in charge, Bartley Griffith, spoke of a “groundbreaking operation” that “brings us one step closer to a solution to organ scarcity”. He was optimistic about the new prospects that the world’s first successful surgery of its kind could offer thousands of patients in the United States alone who depend on donor organs.

For some time now, scientists have been trying to breed organs in pigs that can be used by humans – in addition to hearts, also kidneys or lungs. However, the history of xenograft development has been marked by numerous setbacks. The case of Stephanie Fae Beauclair, better known as Baby Fae, was particularly spectacular. In 1984 the girl had a baboon heart transplant in California. The baby died three weeks after the operation.

In October it became known that New York doctors had connected a pig kidney to a brain-dead person for more than two days.

more on the subject – USA: Pig kidney is successfully transplanted into a human

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