Pig heart transplant failure: Doctors detail everything that went wrong

Image of long arrays of cells stained pink.

Enlarge / Much of the heart is composed of muscle cells like the ones shown here. (credit: Ed Reschke)

Earlier this year, news broke of the first experimental xenotransplantation: A human patient with heart disease received a heart from a pig that had been genetically engineered to avoid rejection. While initially successful, the experiment ended two months later when the transplant failed, leading to the death of the patient. At the time, the team didn’t disclose any details regarding what went wrong. But this week saw the publication of a research paper that goes through everything that happened to prepare for the transplant and the weeks following.

Critically, this includes the eventual failure of the transplant, which was triggered by the death of many of the muscle cells in the transplanted heart. But the reason for that death isn’t clear, and the typical signs of rejection by the immune system weren’t present. So, we’re going to have to wait a while to understand what went wrong.

A solid start

Overall, the paper paints a picture of organ recipient David Bennett as a patient who was on the verge of death when the transplant took place. He was an obvious candidate for a heart transplant and was only kept alive through the use of a device that helped oxygenate his blood outside his body. But the patient had what the researchers refer to as “poor adherence to treatment,” which led four different transplant programs to deny him a human heart transplant. At that point, he and his family agreed to participate in the experimental xenotransplant program.

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#genetic-engineering, #medicine, #science, #transplants, #xenotransplant

Paolo Macchiarini, Star Surgeon, Loses Court Ruling in Sweden

Dr. Paolo Macchiarini became a star by creating a “bioartificial” windpipe. But it did not work, and a court in Sweden has found him criminally liable for the harm inflicted on a patient.

#hospitals, #karolinska-institute, #macchiarini-paolo, #organ-donation, #surgery-and-surgeons, #sweden, #transplants

Signs of an Animal Virus Discovered in Man Who Received a Pig’s Heart

The patient showed no sign of rejecting the genetically modified organ, but suffered numerous complications.

#cytomegalovirus, #genetic-engineering, #maryland, #pigs, #surgery-and-surgeons, #transplants, #university-of-maryland, #your-feed-science

First possible US death reported in international outbreak of child hepatitis

First possible US death reported in international outbreak of child hepatitis

Enlarge (credit: Getty | Barcroft)

Health officials in Wisconsin are investigating what could be the first child death in the US—and the second worldwide—linked to a growing international outbreak of unexplained liver inflammation, aka hepatitis, in children.

In a health alert Wednesday, Wisconsin health officials said they are investigating four cases of unexplained hepatitis in children that match the profile of the outbreak cases. Two of the cases were severe, with one leading to a liver transplant and the other being the fatality.

Wisconsin is at least the fifth US state to report cases of mysterious and severe hepatitis in children. Earlier this month, Alabama health officials initially reported nine cases, which occurred between October 2021 and February 2022. Five of the cases occurred last November in the same large children’s hospital in the state, and three of those cases involved acute liver failure.

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#cdc, #children, #death, #ecdc, #europe, #fatality, #hepatitis, #infectious-disease, #liver, #outbreak-who, #pediatric, #science, #transplants

How a Race-Based Medical Formula Is Keeping Some Black Men in Prison

The formula, which helps estimate kidney health, has been discarded by many hospitals. But some judges still use it to decide whether to release those potentially endangered by Covid-19.

#black-people, #federal-bureau-of-prisons, #kidneys, #prisons-and-prisoners, #race-and-ethnicity, #transplants

Two months after receiving a pig heart, transplant patient dies

Image of surgeons surrounding a patient.

Enlarge / The transplant team with the replacement heart. (credit: The transplant team with the replacement heart.)

On Wednesday, the University of Maryland Medical Center announced that David Bennett, the first human to receive a pig heart transplant, died on Tuesday, March 8. His death comes roughly two months after the transplant; the cause of death wasn’t specified.

The university’s statement is short on details, and those will be critical for understanding the prospects for future transplants of this sort. Bennett was in very poor health at the time of the transplant, with his heart requiring mechanical assistance to keep him alive, so there are many potential explanations for his death that have nothing to do with the transplant. All the university is revealing is that the organ was not immediately rejected by Bennett’s immune system and that his health had started declining several days prior to his death.

Understanding the causes of his death is critical because Bennett will not be the last human to receive a pig organ. Shortly after his transplant, a different group published results from an early clinical trial using hearts from the same genetically engineered pigs. In this case, the hearts were transplanted into brain-dead individuals rather than being used to keep someone alive, but the trial clearly represented a step toward normal transplants.

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#biology, #health, #heart-transplant, #medicine, #pigs, #science, #transplants, #xenotransplant

Patient in Groundbreaking Heart Transplant Dies

David Bennett Sr. had received a heart from a genetically modified pig, a procedure that may yet offer hope to millions of Americans needing transplants.

#genetic-engineering, #heart, #kidneys, #pigs, #surgery-and-surgeons, #transplants, #university-of-maryland-medical-center, #your-feed-science

Antibody Drug to Protect the Vulnerable From Covid Goes Unused

The treatment could be lifesaving for many who cannot get protection from the vaccine, but confusion about the drug has made some doctors slow to prescribe it.

#antibodies, #astrazeneca-plc, #chronic-condition-health, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #immune-system, #shortages, #transplants, #united-states-politics-and-government

Pushing Back Against the C.D.C.’s Easing of Covid Rules

Readers, including the mother of a 3-year-old and a heart transplant recipient, discuss how the changes affect them.

#centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #children-and-childhood, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #masks, #transplants, #vaccination-and-immunization

U.K.’s Other Health Crisis: A Huge Backlog of Delayed Non-Covid Care

The free health care system was known for delays, caused in part by whittled-down funding. But Covid made waits for transplants, cancer treatments and other essential care even longer.

#breast-cancer, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #england, #great-britain, #national-health-service, #transplants

Kidneys From a Genetically Altered Pig Are Implanted in a Brain-Dead Patient

Surgeons at the University of Alabama at Birmingham said they hoped to start clinical trials with kidney patients later this year.

#american-journal-of-transplantation, #genetic-engineering, #kidneys, #pigs, #surgery-and-surgeons, #transplants, #university-of-alabama-at-birmingham, #your-feed-science

Patient in Groundbreaking Pig Heart Transplant Has a Criminal Record

David Bennett Sr. was involved in a serious assault nearly 35 years ago, court records show.

#assaults, #genetic-engineering, #maryland, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #transplants, #university-of-maryland-medical-center, #your-feed-science

Patient in Groundbreaking Heart Transplant Has a Criminal Record

David Bennett Sr. was involved in a serious assault nearly 35 years ago, court records show.

#assaults, #genetic-engineering, #maryland, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #transplants, #university-of-maryland-medical-center, #your-feed-science

Our Patients Are Scared of Omicron. Here’s What Can Be Done to Help.

Only with a better understanding of the science do we have any hope of protecting our vulnerable friends, family members and neighbors.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #transplants, #vaccination-and-immunization

Pig heart transplanted to human for the first time

Image of surgeons surrounding a patient.

Enlarge / The transplant team with the replacement heart. (credit: The transplant team with the replacement heart.)

On Monday, the University of Maryland School of Medicine announced that its staff had done the first transplant of a pig’s heart into a human. The patient who received it had end-stage heart disease and was too sick to qualify for the standard transplant list. Three days after the procedure, the patient was still alive.

The idea of using non-human organs as replacements for damaged human ones—called xenotransplantation—has a long history, inspired by the fact that there are more people on organ waiting lists than there are donors. And, in recent years, our ability to do targeted gene editing has motivated people to start genetically modifying pigs in order to make them better donors. But the recent surgery wasn’t part of a clinical trial, so it shouldn’t be viewed as an indication that this approach is ready for widespread safety and efficacy testing.

Instead, the surgery was authorized by the FDA under its “compassionate use” access program. This allows those faced with life-threatening illnesses to receive investigational treatments that haven’t gone through rigorous clinical testing yet.

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#biology, #gene-editing, #medicine, #science, #transplants, #xenotransplants

In a First, Man Receives a Heart From a Genetically Altered Pig

The breakthrough may lead one day to new supplies of animal organs for transplant into human patients.

#baltimore-md, #cloning, #genetic-engineering, #genetics-and-heredity, #heart, #kidneys, #pigs, #surgery-and-surgeons, #transplants, #university-of-maryland-medical-center, #your-feed-science

On bell hooks and the Solace of Ritual

The holidays are off to a rough start. But tradition can help.

#christmas, #holidays-and-special-occasions, #hooks-bell, #internal-sub-only-nl, #kidneys, #transplants, #writing-and-writers

Stamping Bar Codes on Cells to Solve Medical Mysteries

By tracking every cell in an organism, scientists are working out why certain cancer treatments fail, which could lead to improved medicine.

#bar-codes, #bone-cancer, #bone-marrow, #cancer, #leukemia, #research, #stem-cells, #transplants

Who Makes a ‘Good’ Transplant Candidate?

Evaluation for transplant is an area of medicine where subjective criteria, like whether a person has strong family support, can determine access.

#hospitals, #kidneys, #liver, #transplants, #united-states

She Died With Long Covid. Should Her Organs Have Been Donated?

Heidi Ferrer’s family feared her organs were unsafe. The case points to gaps in protocols for organ donation amid the pandemic.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #hospitals, #kidneys, #liver, #lungs, #organ-donation, #transplants, #your-feed-science

Colombians Are Uniting Around Land Reform. Here’s Why.

Helping farmers is an idea that unites the country’s left and right.

#blinken-antony-j, #colombia, #duque-ivan, #internal-sub-only, #land-use-policies, #transplants

In a First, Surgeons Attached a Pig Kidney to a Human — and It Worked

A kidney grown in a genetically altered pig seemed to function normally, potentially a new source for desperately needed transplant organs.

#genetic-engineering, #kidneys, #new-york-university-langone-health, #organ-donation, #pigs, #research, #surgery-and-surgeons, #transplants, #your-feed-science

A new formula may help black patients’ access to kidney care

A new formula may help black patients’ access to kidney care

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

For decades, doctors and hospitals saw kidney patients differently based on their race. A standard equation for estimating kidney function applied a correction for Black patients that made their health appear rosier, inhibiting access to transplants and other treatments.

On Thursday, a task force assembled by two leading kidney care societies said the practice is unfair and should end.

The group, a collaboration between the National Kidney Foundation and the American Society of Nephrology, recommended use of a new formula that does not factor in a patient’s race. In a statement, Paul Palevsky, the foundation’s president, urged “all laboratories and health care systems nationwide to adopt this new approach as rapidly as possible.” That call is significant because recommendations and guidelines from professional medical societies play a powerful role in shaping how specialists care for patients.

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#ai, #algorithms, #bias, #dialysis, #health, #kidney-care, #medicine, #science, #transplants

What’s A ‘Race-Free’ Approach to Diagnosing Kidney Disease?

The most common method of assessing the condition may make Black patients seem less ill than they really are, some experts say. A new report calls for scrapping the formula.

#black-people, #kidneys, #minorities, #new-england-journal-of-medicine, #race-and-ethnicity, #tests-medical, #transplants, #united-states, #your-feed-science

A History of Medical Innovation That Doesn’t Ignore the Side Effects

In “You Bet Your Life,” Paul A. Offit looks at advances that have prolonged life, from chemotherapy to the Covid vaccine, and the difficult, even deadly, paths to arrive at them.

#anesthesia-and-anesthetics, #books-and-literature, #innovation, #offit-paul-a, #transplants, #vaccination-and-immunization, #you-bet-your-life-from-blood-transfusions-to-mass-vaccination-the-long-and-risky-history-of-medical-innovation-book

Covid Survivors More Likely to Have Kidney Problems, Study Finds

In a study of veterans, Covid survivors were 35 percent more likely than other patients to have long-term kidney damage or declines in kidney function.

#chronic-condition-health, #clinical-journal-of-the-american-society-of-nephrology, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #kidneys, #transplants, #united-states, #veterans, #veterans-affairs-department, #your-feed-science

Should People With Immune Problems Get Third Vaccine Doses?

France is handing out third shots of the two-dose vaccines to cancer patients and others with immune system impairments. In the United States, patients like these are on their own.

#antibodies, #clinical-trials, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #disease-rates, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #france, #immune-system, #influenza, #moderna-inc, #research, #transplants, #united-states, #vaccination-and-immunization, #your-feed-science

Dr. Barbara Murphy, Kidney Transplant Expert, Dies at 56

Her focus was on immunology and how to predict and diagnose the outcomes of transplants. She was, a colleague said, “a great researcher and a great mentor to many people.”

#deaths-obituaries, #kidneys, #medicine-and-health, #mount-sinai-medical-center, #murphy-dr-barbara-1964-2021, #research, #transplants

There’s a ‘Severe Blood Shortage’ in the U.S., Red Cross Says

The American Red Cross said rising trauma cases, transplants and surgeries had led hospitals to ask for more blood than expected.

#american-red-cross, #blood, #blood-donation, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #emergency-medical-treatment, #hospitals, #shortages, #shutdowns-institutional, #transfusions, #transplants

I’m a Vaccinated Transplant Recipient. I Don’t Have Antibodies. Now What?

As the vaccinated prepare to move on, the future for many of us is uncertain.

#transplants, #vaccination-and-immunization

They Survived Covid. Now They Need New Lungs.

We’re seeing a wave of people who will survive only with risky transplants. 

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #hospitals, #lungs, #transplants

Matters of the Heart Precede Love and Marriage in Florida

Angela Horan and Gary Bergstrom met online more than six years ago. Both have overcome serious health issues — she a heart transplant, he a motorcycle accident.

#florida, #transplants, #weddings-and-engagements

‘There Was Nothing Anybody Could Do for These Patients.’ Now There Is.

The first successful direct transplant of a trachea is a medical milestone that could help thousands of people with airways damaged by ventilators and other causes.

#genden-eric-m-sr, #macchiarini-paolo, #medical-devices, #mount-sinai-medical-center, #neck, #organ-donation, #surgery-and-surgeons, #trachea, #transplants, #your-feed-science

Woman Dies After Getting Covid-19 From Transplanted Lungs

In what appears to be the first case of its kind, a pair of donated lungs led to Covid-19 in an organ recipient, according to doctors at the University of Michigan.

#american-journal-of-transplantation, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-fatalities, #lungs, #michigan, #organ-donation, #surgery-and-surgeons, #transplants, #united-network-for-organ-sharing

In Afghanistan, a Booming Kidney Trade Preys on the Poor

Widespread poverty and an ambitious private hospital are helping to fuel an illegal market — a portal to new misery for the country’s most vulnerable.

#afghanistan, #herat-afghanistan, #kidneys, #poverty, #taliban, #transplants

Seeking an Obesity Cure, Researchers Turn to the Gut Microbiome

The link between the gut and metabolic disease is a growing area of obesity research.

#bacteria, #digestive-tract, #feces, #infections, #liver, #obesity, #transplants, #weight

LaTasha Benton, Who Pitched In Despite Obstacles, Dies at 43

She’d had strokes and two kidney transplants, but she remained active in social justice causes in Lexington, Ky. She died of the coronavirus.

#benton-latasha-1977-2020, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-obituaries, #lexington-ky, #transplants

People Are Choosing Kidney Dialysis at H

A new Medicare program aims to increase the proportion of patients using home dialysis and receiving transplants.

#chapel-hill-nc, #dialysis, #elderly, #health-insurance-and-managed-care, #kidneys, #medicare, #transplants, #your-feed-health, #your-feed-healthcare

Timothy Ray Brown, First Patient Cured of H.I.V., Dies at 54

Known initially as the “Berlin Patient,” he underwent an experimental stem cell transplant 13 years ago that rid his body of the virus. He died of leukemia.

#acquired-immune-deficiency-syndrome, #bone-marrow, #brown-timothy-ray, #deaths-obituaries, #stem-cells, #transplants

A Woman May Have Been Cured of H.I.V. Without Medical Treatment

In dozens of other patients who suppress the virus without drugs, it seems to have been cornered in parts of the genome where it cannot reproduce, scientists reported.

#acquired-immune-deficiency-syndrome, #bone-marrow, #genetics-and-heredity, #harvard-university, #immune-system, #nature-journal, #transplants, #your-feed-science

Connie Culp, First Face Transplant Recipient in U.S., Dies at 57

Her near-total face transplant in 2008 was the most complex at the time. She was the fourth patient in the world to undergo such a procedure.

#cleveland-clinic, #culp-connie-1963-2020, #deaths-obituaries, #face, #face-transplant, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #plastic-surgery, #surgery-and-surgeons, #transplants

A Covid Patient Goes Home After a Rare Double Lung Transplant

Mayra Ramirez was the first of a small but growing number of people whose only hope of surviving the coronavirus was to replace their lungs.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #lungs, #northwestern-memorial-hospital-chicago-ill, #surgery-and-surgeons, #transplants, #ventilators-medical, #your-feed-healthcare

In Astounding Test, Scientists Revive Damaged Lungs for Transplant

Injured and unusable lungs were restored with respirators and pig blood. The procedure one day may increase the supply of organs for transplant.

#columbia-university, #deaths-fatalities, #lungs, #nature-medicine-journal, #new-york-university-langone-medical-center, #pigs, #surgery-and-surgeons, #tissue-human, #transplants, #united-states, #university-of-toronto, #ventilators-medical, #vunjak-novakovic-gordana

Covid-19 Patient Gets Double Lung Transplant, Offering Hope for Others

The operation is believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S. The patient, a woman in her 20s, had been healthy, but the coronavirus devastated her lungs.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #lungs, #northwestern-memorial-hospital-chicago-ill, #surgery-and-surgeons, #tissue-human, #transplants, #your-feed-healthcare

Fear of Covid Leads Other Patients to Decline Critical Treatment

Psychologists say anxiety and uncertainty prompt irrational decisions — like turning down a transplant when an organ becomes available.

#anxiety-and-stress, #cancer, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #emergency-medical-treatment, #fear-emotion, #heart, #liver, #transplants, #your-feed-health, #your-feed-healthcare, #your-feed-science

The Pandemic’s Hidden Victims: Sick or Dying, but Not From the Virus

As the coronavirus overwhelms the health care system, people with other illnesses struggle to find treatment.

#american-cancer-society, #brain-cancer, #breast-cancer, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #kidneys, #organ-donation, #rationing-and-allocation-of-resources, #tests-medical, #transplants, #your-feed-healthcare

My Toddler Survived Cancer. Then Came the Coronavirus.

We’re applying the lessons we learned when she was sick all over again.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #hospitals, #liver-cancer, #transplants, #united-states

What Is a Fecal Transplant, and Why Would I Want One?

Fecal transplant is used to treat gut infections and is now being studied as a treatment for obesity, urinary tract infections, irritable bowel syndrome and more.

#bacteria, #bowels, #clostridium-difficile-bacterium, #colon, #digestive-tract, #feces, #transplants