Surgeons Test Connecting Pig Kidneys to Humans … Working

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It would be effortless to judge this procedure, those of us who are not in need and kidneys and who don’t have to go through grueling dialysis, but to the 90,000 patients awaiting kidney donors at any given time, it may be a welcomed option.

Xenotransplantation Surgery looks promising for those waiting for kidney transplants.

Xenotransplantation is any procedure that involves the transplantation, implantation or infusion into a human recipient of either. 

(a) live cells, tissues, or organs from a nonhuman animal source, or 

(b) human body fluids, cells, tissues or organs that have had ex vivo contact with live nonhuman animal cells, tissues or organs. 

The development of xenotransplantation is partly driven by the fact that the demand for human organs for clinical transplantation far exceeds the supply. 

NYU Langone Health just performed the second successful Xenotransplantation surgery on a deceased human, who was a donor, using genetically modified pig kidneys.

The genetically modified kidneys have been implanted into two humans, one this past November, who was studied for 54 hours and normal urine production, creatine levels and other functions appeared to be normal as well.

Doctors had to eliminate certain functions related only to the pig with the kidneys for it to work in humans.

During the study a pig kidney was transferred to a deceased donor who was on a ventilator and it worked. How is a good question since the bodily functions would’ve been shut down. 

Now researchers are looking for whole-body donors to help move the landmark research forward.

“We have been able to replicate the results from the first transformative procedure to demonstrate the continued promise that these genetically engineered organs could be a renewable source of organs to the mini people around the world awaiting a life-saving gift.” Said Dr. Robert Montgomery. In the study, the kidneys were not rejected by the human body and we’re normal and equivalent to what I’ve seen in a human kidney transplant.”



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