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What went wrong with the pig heart transplant surgery?

Pig Heart Transplant Surgery, L. National
Dr. Bartley Griffith (left) and his patient David Bennett (right), after surgery. Photo: University of Maryland Hospital

David Bennett, the first person to undergo pig heart transplant surgery, died two months after the historic procedure. Displaced element It worked No signs of rejection For several weeks, the University of Maryland Medical School Medical Center, which performed the surgery, reported Wednesday.

Bennett, age 57, Died On March 8, after a transplant operation on Jan. 7, the University of Maryland Hospital announced in a statement that the patient’s health had begun to deteriorate a few days earlier, and they admitted him to a nursing home after doctors confirmed he was not going to survive.

The hospital report states that “no obvious cause was identified” at the time of his death, so it is not known if there was any role in his death, such as frequent infections in transplant surgery and genetic transplantation or organ rejection. . According to the medical center, once they have completed their case studies they will publish the results in a specialized medium.

Members of the medical team said they were “devastated” by the loss of the patient. Griffith noted in the statement that he spoke of Bennett’s courage and desire to live.

Muhammad m. Mohideen, director of the cardiothoracic program at the Health Center, emphasized his gratitude for the patient’s “historic role” in advances in xenotransplantation. In fact, that surgery raised hopes that the use of organs from various organisms would one day solve the chronic shortage of human organs for donation. However, the team behind the surgery said they were optimistic about its success in the future and planned to continue the work later in clinical trials.

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“We have learned invaluable lessons about how a genetically modified pig’s heart can function well in the human body when the immune system is functioning properly,” said Mohiuddin.

David Bennett suffered from ventricular fibrillation, a disorder that accelerates the heartbeat, making him unsuitable for heart transplant surgery. The same company described xenotransplantation in January as “the only way available to the patient”.

Pig coronary valves have stopped working for many heart patients’ own valves for more than five years. They are called biological implants, in which case a complete organ transplant has been tested and it is necessary to wait to determine if it is really effective.

In this regard, health expert Pedro León Cifuentes, at the conclusion of such an experiment, sought to analyze the variables that determine the reliability of xenotransplantation, as the patient had no alternative and a genetically modified organ was found as an option in a research framework. . Therefore, the evolution of the process is rigorously studied without defining a specific goal, which should give a satisfactory result.

“One can not talk about failure, on the contrary, this historical process allows to get data of inputs, as well as studies that allow to strengthen the good, in addition to gaining knowledge in a matter of starting, correcting shortcomings in future experiments and making progress in these processes.

Undoubtedly, the expert says, this is already a milestone in this type of practice.

Grupo de Diarios America (GDA), a leading national media network founded in 1991, promotes democratic values, independent journalism and independent press and freedom of expression in Latin America.

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