Medical team at NYU Langone transplanted pig hearts into two dead human bodies

Physicians at NYU Langone successfully transplanted pig hearts into two recently-deceased humans. On June 16 and July 6, using special pig hearts that were genetically modified to be more acceptable for transplantation into a human body, the transplantation was performed by the medical team.

NYU Langone Health News Hub, “The transplant surgeries were performed over several hours, and heart function was monitored for three days. The first heart xenotransplant concluded on Sunday, June 19, 2022, and the second on Saturday, July 9, 2022. No signs of early rejection were observed in either organ, and the hearts functioned normally with standard post-transplant medications and without additional mechanical support. Using a new infectious diseases protocol, no presence of porcine cytomegalovirus (pCMV) was detected in either case. Strict protocols to prevent and monitor potential zoonotic transmission of porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) were also carried out. The operating room used for this study has been taken offline to be used only for future xenotransplantation research.”

“Our goal is to integrate the practices used in a typical, everyday heart transplant, only with a nonhuman organ that will function normally without additional aid from untested devices or medicines,” says Dr. Moazami. “We seek to confirm that clinical trials can move ahead using this new supply of organs with the tried-and-true transplant practices we have perfected at the NYU Langone Transplant Institute.”

According to Engadget, “Both human subjects — a 72-year-old Navy veteran and a 64-year-old retired New York City teacher — were monitored for three days before being taken off life support. Neither heart needed any outside support and functioned normally, which researchers are seeing as a promising sign for future research. Despite the NYU experiment’s positive outcome, surgeons cautioned that much more research is needed before pig heart transplants can be a viable alternative for people with heart disease.

“This is not a one-and-done situation. This is going to be years of learning what’s important and what’s not important for this to work,” NYU’s Dr. Robert Montgomery told the Associated Press.”