Genetically Modified Porcine-to-Human Cardiac Xenotransplantation

A 57-year-old man with nonischemic cardiomyopathy who was dependent on venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and was not a candidate for standard therapeutics, including a traditional allograft, received a heart from a genetically modified pig source animal that had 10 individual gene edits.
Sudden diastolic thickening and failure of the xenograft occurred on day 49 after transplantation, and life support was withdrawn on day 60. On autopsy, the xenograft was found to be edematous, having nearly doubled in weight. Histologic examination revealed scattered myocyte necrosis, interstitial edema, and red-cell extravasation, without evidence of microvascular thrombosis — findings that were not consistent with typical rejection. Studies are under way to identify the mechanisms responsible for these changes. (Funded by the University of Maryland Medical Center and School of Medicine.)
Author(s) Source
Griffith BP, Goerlich CE, Singh AK, Rothblatt M et al. The New England Journal of Medicine, June 22, 2022, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2201422
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