US Surgeons Perform First Pig-to-Human Heart Transplant

Advanced gene editing allowed for the development of a pig organ that a human immune system wouldn’t reject.

A recent New Atlas article discussed a landmark procedure in which a modified pig heart was successfully transplanted into a human patient. The heart was supplied by Revivicor, a regenerative medicine company. It came from a pig that had been genetically engineered with about 10 modifications, all intended to reduce the chance of rejection by the recipient’s immune system.

The heart recipient is a 57-year-old man with terminal heart disease. He was too sick to qualify for a regular transplant, and was offered the experimental procedure as a last resort. He is alive and recovering under the watch of physicians at the University of Maryland Medical Center who will study the long-term effects of the novel operation.

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