Partial heart transplant avoids repeated operations

The child, who underwent the world’s first partial heart transplant in the spring of 2022, is doing well. The transplanted valves continue to grow with the patient.

Doctors from Duke University and Arkansas Children’s Hospital spoke about the condition of a small patient who underwent the world’s first partial heart transplant almost two years ago. The observation results were published by Medscape with reference to the JAMA Network journal.

After 14 months of observation, echoCG in the child did not reveal stenosis or insufficiency of the transplanted valves. The study showed adaptive growth and superior hemodynamic valve function after partial heart transplantation.

Earlier, MV wrote that in April 2022, scientists for the first time transplanted a newborn Owen Monroe arteries and valves from a living donor heart that was not suitable for a full transplant due to weak muscle tissue. The child was born with a common aortic trunk and a weak valve on the only vessel leaving the heart and could not wait in line for a transplant. The new technique allowed the valves to grow along with the small patient, making it possible to avoid repeated surgical interventions, which are necessary when transplanting cadaveric arteries and valves.

The researchers reported that although partial heart transplantation allows the use of hearts unsuitable for full transplantation, the main problem is the shortage of donors. The authors hope that the use of domino hearts will double the number of partial transplants in children. This is the name given to hearts obtained from patients undergoing a complete heart transplant (domino effect). Since the first operation, partial heart transplants have been successfully performed 13 more times, including using the domino heart.

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