Pig heart successfully transplanted into man

A historical procedure. A team of American surgeons have transplanted, for the first time in history, a genetically modified pig’s heart to a living human being. The patient has not rejected the organ and is being monitored carefully at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

A notable advance

More than six weeks ago David Bennet, A 57-year-old man was admitted to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) with a life-threatening arrhythmia, a condition in which the heart beats irregularly. His condition required him to be placed on a heart-lung machine and put on the waiting list for a transplant. Instead, they used a heart from a genetically modified pigmaking him the first human to receive one, according to a UMMC press release.
The procedure, which was cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 31, was the first in decades to attempt to transplant a heart into a human of another species. Y the first operation of its kind to use an engineered pig heart and avoid rejection by the human immune system.

Professor Bartley Griffith, director of the Center’s heart transplant programme, described the patient as “awake, recovering and talking to his carers” in a video posted online this week.

The operation lasted eight hours. after removing four pig genes and adding six human genes to the donor pig heart. Preventing rejection by the recipient human organism has been the greatest challenge.

“This is the culmination of years of very complicated research to perfect this technique in animals with survival times exceeding nine months.”explains Muhammad Mohiuddin, of the Cardiac Xenotransplantation Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

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