Pig Heart Transplanted Patient Dies

Pig Heart Transplanted Patient Dies
Heart surgery underway at University of Maryland Medical Center

David Bennet, 57, made history earlier this year as the first person to receive a pig heart transplant. Although the treatment was effective, Bennet did not live long and died within two months. Many questions arose as a result of the investigation into the patient's death. Investigations into the cause of death discovered a swine virus infection in the transplanted heart that could have led to Bennet's death, according to the MIT Technology Review.

Bennet's success story should have ushered in a new era of xenotransplants in which donor and recipient are from different species. Instead, it spawned a variety of procedural and ethical issues that would require further research to find the right solutions.

Revivicor, the business behind the device, took important precautions to ensure that the donor organ was not rejected by the recipient's immune system.

Revivic, Inc. It is a biotechnology company. Pig organs, cells and tissues are provided by the company for transplantation into humans.

The Applied Technique requires modifying more than ten genes to delete signs of porcine origin, while also adding components to immune cells that make them appear more human.

Despite all this, the company appears to have failed to fully test the porcine cytomegalovirus. According to Joachin Denner of the Free University of Berlin, who is involved in organ transplants, the virus is dormant and can be difficult to detect. However, extensive testing could detect this before donation. The donor's pig nose was tested by Revivicor.

However, because the virus lives deep within the tissues, it most likely spread during the transplant.

Bennet was kept in the hospital for a series of tests after the transplant and to determine how the transplant would be monitored. One of these tests looked for hundreds of bacteria and viruses in his blood, and it was here that cytomegalovirus was first discovered. Although the amounts discovered were too low to be alarming, the test took ten days to complete.

However, because the virus lives deep within the tissues, it most likely spread during the transplant.

Bennet was kept in the hospital for a series of tests after the transplant and to determine how the transplant would be monitored. One of these tests looked for hundreds of bacteria and viruses in his blood, and it was here that cytomegalovirus was first discovered. Although the amounts discovered were too low to be alarming, the test took ten days to complete.

In previous studies, xenotransplants in baboons took only a few weeks when the virus was present, and almost half a year without it. Researchers believe the virus is growing uncontrollably because the host's immunity is compromised, causing a cytokine burst or an overactive immune reaction.

The surgeon who performed the transplant, Bartley Griffith, told the MIT Tech Review that the increased immune reaction can cause edema – swelling – in the transplanted heart and lead to heart failure.

Should these transplants be allowed because we know so little about their negative consequences? Did the patient have enough options before the mental procedure was performed? How can businesses improve their practices to prevent such incidents?
This is the challenging nature of science.

Source: interestingengineering

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