Cardiac xenotransplantation



  • Heart transplantation continues to be limited by a lack of suitable organs from deceased human donors. Genetically engineered pigs could possibly provide an alternative source. There are, however, several pathobiological barriers that need to be overcome, including antibody-dependent complement-mediated rejection, coagulation dysregulation, systemic inflammation, and the adaptive immune response. In recent years, most of these barriers have been overcome in pig-to-nonhuman primate models by selective genetic-engineering of the pig coupled with the administration to the recipient of novel immunosuppressive regimens. Survival of nonhuman primates with pig hearts in now measured in months or even years rather than days or weeks. If the pigs are bred and housed under designated pathogen-free conditions, the risk of the transfer of porcine infectious microorganisms to the recipient is now considered small. Attention is now being directed to the ethical selection of potential patients who might benefit from this new form of therapy.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13

  • 9780128137062
  • Start Page

  • 171
  • End Page

  • 192