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US Scientists Successfully Performed Transplant Of Pig’s Heart Into An Adult Human


Technology and medicine nowadays are so advanced, to the point of using animal organs transplanted in humans, also known as xenotransplantation. Although it may sound odd, pigs are the most compatible organ donor for human beings.


It was recently reported that scientists and clinicians from the University of Maryland, U.S., managed to perform the very-first transplant of a pig's heart into an adult human. This wasn't the first case of animal organs transplanted into a person, a kidney from a genetically engineered pig was transplanted into a deceased donor. The organ was observed and found still functioning.


A 57-year-old patient diagnosed with terminal heart disease received a genetically-modified pig's heart as it was the only available option at the time. After the transplant was done, the patient was reported to be doing well 3 days after. For the first time, a genetically-modified animal heart was able to function like a human heart without immediate rejection by the human body.


“It was either die or do this transplant. I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice,” said Mr. Bennett, the patient. Mr. Bennett was admitted to the hospital for more than 6 weeks earlier with life-threatening arrhythmia and was connected to a heart-lung bypass machine to remain alive.


“This was a breakthrough surgery and brings us one step closer to solving the organ shortage crisis. There are simply not enough donor human hearts available to meet the long list of potential recipients,” said Bartley P. Griffith, MD, who surgically transplanted the pig heart.



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