Surgeons successfully transplant two PIG KIDNEYS into brain dead Alabama man – two weeks after Maryland man received a pig’s heart

Surgeons successfully transplant two PIG KIDNEYS into brain dead Alabama man - two weeks after Maryland man received a pig's heart

Surgeons successfully transplant two PIG KIDNEYS into brain dead Alabama man – two weeks after Maryland man received a pig’s heart

US patient had the genetically modified pig kidneys transplanted in his abdomen

Organs filtered blood, produced urine and weren’t initially rejected by his body

The results could pave the way for genetically modified animal organs in humans

Surgeons have successfully transplanted two pig kidneys into a brain dead human, marking another ‘significant step’ in the decades-long quest to use animal organs for life-saving transplants.

Jim Parsons, 57, from Huntsville, Alabama, was brain dead – and therefore declared officially deceased – in September after suffering a traumatic head injury while dirt bike racing.

With his family’s blessing, researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham performed the pioneering transplant on him just four days later.

Mr Parsons’ own kidneys were removed while his blood still circulating before he was given two organs taken from a genetically-modified pig.

The transplanted pig kidneys filtered blood, produced urine and, importantly, were not immediately rejected by his body. Both organs remained viable for three days after the transplant.

Results demonstrate how xenotransplantation – the transplantation of living cells, tissues or organs from one species to another – could address the worldwide organ shortage crisis.

Pigs’ heart anatomy and physiology is similar to that of humans so they are used as models for developing new treatments.

Earlier this month, David Bennett become the first patient in the world to get a heart transplant from a genetically-modified pig.

Meanwhile, last October, surgeons in New York successfully transplanted another pig kidney into a human, prior to the patient being taken off life support. However, the New York procedure transplanted and maintained one pig kidney outside the patient’s body.

This Alabama procedure – which was conducted on September 30, prior to the New York procedure – involved removing Mr Parsons kidneys and inserting the two pig kidneys at the correct place inside his body.

The first peer-reviewed research outlining Mr Parsons’ successful transplant by surgeons at UAB’s Department of Surgery has been published today in the American Journal of Transplantation.

‘This game-changing moment in the history of medicine represents a paradigm shift and a major milestone in the field of xenotransplantation, which is arguably the best solution to the organ shortage crisis,’ said Professor Jayme Locke, director of the Comprehensive Transplant Institute in UAB’s Department of Surgery and lead surgeon for the study.

‘We have bridged critical knowledge gaps and obtained the safety and feasibility data necessary to begin a clinical trial in living humans with end-stage kidney failure disease.

‘This study provides knowledge that could not be generated in animal models and moves us closer to a future where organ supply meets the tremendous need.’

According to The Huntsville Times’ obituary, Mr Parsons’ ‘storytelling, sense of humour and love for his mother and children were unmatched’.

He had a company that installs closets and had a passion for racing dirt bikes, but he was left brain dead due to a bike accident while riding in the woods.

Mr Parsons was declared brain dead – and therefore officially deceased – on September 26, prior to the procedure on September 30.

‘Circulation was maintained initially for the purposes of allocating his organs for transplant and then for our study,’ said Professor Locke.

Mr Parsons was a registered organ donor through Legacy of Hope, Alabama’s organ procurement organisation.

Source: daily mail

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Surgeons successfully transplant two PIG KIDNEYS into brain dead Alabama man – two weeks after Maryland man received a pig’s heart

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