Surgeons at New York University (NYU) have successfully transplanted genetically engineered pig hearts into two brain-dead people. This has made it a step closer to the long-term goal of using pig organs to address the shortage of human organs for transplant, researchers said Tuesday.
During the three-day experiments in June and July, the hearts functioned normally, with no signs of rejection, he said at a news conference. A 57-year-old man who died of terminal heart disease in March made history two months earlier at the University of Maryland as the first person to receive a genetically modified pig heart. The reasons why his new heart eventually failed are still unclear. After this new research was done.
Researchers said New York University took hearts from pigs modified by Rivicor Inc. and screened them for the virus using an advanced surveillance protocol. The hearts showed no evidence of a virus called swine cytomegalovirus, which was found in the blood of a Maryland man, and may have caused his death.
Four to prevent rejection and abnormal organ growth in pigs and six to help prevent incompatibility between pigs and humans were genetically modified. Researchers at New York University also transplanted pig kidneys into two brain-dead recipients in 2021.
So far, they believe xenotransplantation is safer in brain-dead recipients than in living patients and also more informative because biopsies can be performed frequently. Repeated testing yields tremendous detail, said Dr. Robert Montgomery, director of the NYU Langone Transplant Institute and a heart transplant recipient at NYU. “We were able to capture everything going on during the 72-hour period in real time,” he said.
The procurement, transportation, transplant surgery, and immunosuppression were all performed in the same way as in a normal human heart transplant, the researchers said. Dr. Nadar Moazmi, surgical director of heart transplantation at NYU Langone, said, “Our goal is to integrate the practices used in a common, everyday heart transplant, with only a nonhuman organ that can be used without tested equipment or drugs. will function normally without additional assistance from He said the 72-hour experiments produced preliminary data that would have to answer a number of questions before we could start testing pig hearts in humans.