pig kidney

October 20, 2021
pig kidney

This is a huge breakthrough. It’s a big, big deal.

Dr. Dorry Segev, professor of transplant surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, on using a pig kidney in a human.
  • The pig kidney was from a genetically modified pig – in other words, the kidney was "grown" in a pig and then harvested for the human.
  • The person receiving the kidney was brain dead and followed for just over two days.
  • Although we still do not have all the details of the procedure in a published and reviewed study, the doctor who performed the transplant said: “It was better than I think we even expected … It just looked like any transplant I’ve ever done from a living donor. A lot of kidneys from deceased people don’t work right away, and take days or weeks to start. This worked immediately.”
  • Why This Matters: This could be the breakthrough that initiates organ growth in pigs for use in humans – and could apply to hearts, lungs, livers, etc.
  • Something To Consider: "Twelve people on the waiting lists (for kidneys) die each day." (NYT) Also – although the initial news looks promising, organ rejection can occur months or years after surgery.

In a First, Surgeons Attached a Pig Kidney to a Human — and It Worked

by Jenna Lee,

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