Second patient dies after transplant of genetically modified pig heart


A second patient has died in the United States after receiving a genetically modified pig heart transplant. He lived with the xenograft for almost six weeks.

Scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) reported a second case of fatal transplantation of a genetically modified pig heart. The operation was performed on September 20 Lawrence Fawcettwho lived with the xenograft for almost six weeks.

The transplanted heart functioned without any signs of rejection during the first month of recovery. The 58-year-old patient made significant progress after surgery, he successfully completed a course of physical therapy and exercise therapy, worked to restore his ability to walk, and spent a lot of time with family and friends. But in the last days of October, researchers recorded the first signs of rejection. Despite the best efforts of the intensive care team, Fawcett died on October 30.

Scientific Director of the UMSOM Heart Xenotransplantation Program Professor Muhammad M. Mohiuddin emphasized the importance of a comprehensive case analysis to identify negative factors that can be prevented in future transplantations.




Fawcett first came to the University of Maryland Medical Center as a patient on September 14, when he was admitted to the clinic with end-stage heart failure. Shortly before the operation, he suffered a cardiac arrest that required resuscitation. Traditional heart transplantation was considered contraindicated due to severe general condition and peripheral vascular disease. The US Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency authorization for the surgery in hopes of prolonging the patient’s life on September 15, 2023.

Professor Mohiuddin expressed his gratitude to Mr Fawcett and his family for enabling transplant surgeons to move forward and make significant strides in the creation of xenografts. Professor Christine Lau called the second experience with cardiac xenograft transplantation a “monumental achievement” and stated that “a Herculean effort is required to advance this field of transplantation.”



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