An autopsy showed that an American with a pig heart did not die from organ rejection

(ORDO NEWS) — An analysis of the medical records of the recently deceased David Bennett, who received a pig heart transplant, showed that his death was not due to organ rejection. This was reported by the press service of the University of Maryland.

In January, the heart of a genetically engineered pig was successfully transplanted for the first time into a 57-year-old man with a life-threatening disease. However, a few months later, the American died, while it was reported that there was a virus in the new heart.

“The results of our autopsy ruled out the possibility of death as a result of cardiac rejection. His death was due to the fact that the heart muscle significantly increased in thickness and became less flexible.

As a result, the myocardium could not relax normally and fill the heart with blood, which led to the development of diastolic heart failure, ”said Professor Bartley Griffith.

Porcine cytomegalovirus found in the heart, as well as taking drugs with antibodies to pig cells, could lead to such consequences.

Scientists intend to take all this into account in the course of the next tests of xenotransplantation technologies, as well as to strengthen viral control in the cultivation of donor animals and during operations for the extraction and implantation of organs.


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