Porcine kidneys successfully used for the first time in brain-dead patients

In the US, a team from the University of Alabama performed a successful transplant of pig kidneys on a patient. The operation raises hopes for people who are waiting in vain for donor organs.

US doctors have successfully implanted pig kidneys in the body of a brain-dead patient for the first time. “The transplanted kidneys filtered blood, produced urine and, importantly, were not immediately rejected,” the University of Alabama at the City of Birmingham (UAB) said Thursday. The kidneys remained active for 77 hours before the experiment was terminated.

progress for medical research

The dean of the college’s medical school, Selwyn Vickers, spoke of a “remarkable achievement for mankind” and an advance in the field of xenotransplantation. The term stands for the transplantation of organs from one species to another, specifically from animals to humans.

As early as last September, doctors from New York University connected a pig kidney to a brain-dead patient. However, the kidney was attached to blood vessels on the patient’s leg and not transplanted into his body.

body does not reject the organ

The University of Alabama team inserted two pig kidneys into the body of a 57-year-old brain dead man during his operation. According to the doctors, this means an additional step towards future use in patients who need donor kidneys. The operation also took place last September, and the results of the study have now been published in the American Journal of Transplantation.

The kidneys of a genetically modified pig were used for the transplant. The genetic changes are intended to prevent the human body from rejecting the organs.

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Positive outlook for future transplants

Recently, US physicians from the University of Maryland had successfully implanted a pig heart in a patient for the first time. This was not a brain-dead patient. The university said Jan. 10 the 57-year-old man was doing well three days after the procedure.

Pigs: The animals are considered ideal organ donors for humans. (Source: Rupert Oberhäuser/imago images)

Because of the lack of human donor organs, researchers have high hopes for xenotransplantation. Heart valves from pigs and pigskin for burn victims are already being transplanted. Pigs are considered ideal donor animals because of their size, rapid growth and good breeding qualities.

Important NOTE: The information in no way replaces professional advice or treatment by trained and recognized doctors. The content of t-online cannot and must not be used to independently make diagnoses or start treatments.

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