Written by Robert Preidt and Robin Foster HealthDay reporters
Wednesday, October 20, 2021 (Health Day News)-In a groundbreaking operation performed by American doctors, the kidneys grown in genetically modified pigs functioned normally after being connected to a human patient.
If the technology proves to be universally successful, it will revolutionize organ transplantation and greatly expand the number of available organs.
According to the New York Times, the operation was performed at NYU Langone Health in New York City in September and involved a brain-dead patient who was kept alive on a ventilator.
The kidney comes from a genetically engineered pig, and the risk of its organs being rejected by the human body is very low. According to the New York Times, Dr. Robert Montgomery, director of the Lange Transplant Institute of New York University, said that the kidneys soon began to function normally after connecting to the blood vessels of the patient's thigh outside the abdomen.
According to Montgomery, the results strongly suggest that this type of organ will function in the human body.
"This is better than I think we even expected," he told the New York Times. "It looks like any transplant that I have done from a living donor. Many of the deceased's kidneys can't work right away, and it takes days or weeks to start. This worked immediately."
The patient only received 54 hours of follow-up. The study has not been peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal, but it hints at a new source of urgently needed transplanted organs.
Many problems still exist, but experts call the process a milestone.
Dr. Jay Fishman, deputy director of the Transplant Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, told The Times: “There is no doubt that this is a brilliant masterpiece because it is difficult to do and you have to jump. There have been many traps.". "Whether this particular study makes progress in the field will depend on what data they collect and whether they share data, or whether this is just a step that they can do."
"We need to learn more about the life span of organs," but this is "a huge breakthrough. This is a very important thing," Dr. Dorry Segev, professor of transplant surgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, told the New York Times.
There are more than 100,000 Americans on the waiting list for transplantation, and more than 90,000 of them need kidneys. According to The Times, 12 people die on the waiting list every day.
Pig organs that can be transplanted into the human body, such as the kidney, heart, lung, and liver, have always been a goal that researchers have been working hard to achieve.
"This is really cutting-edge translational surgery and transplantation, which is about to be done on living people," told Dr. Amy Friedman, a former transplant surgeon and chief medical officer of the organ procurement organization LiveOnNY Media times.
The team played a role in finding brain-dead patients who participated in the operation. The patient is a registered organ donor, but the organ is not suitable for transplantation, so the family agreed to perform experimental kidney surgery.
Visit the National Kidney Foundation to learn more about kidney transplants.
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