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posted by martyb on Friday March 11 2016, @03:46PM   Printer-friendly
from the hard-to-take dept.

Two Soylentils wrote in about the failure of the United States' first attempted uterus transplant:

Uterine Transplant Fails

The Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio, has embarked upon a programme of uterine transplantation, with surgeries planned on a total of ten patients. The first recipient, however, has suffered an unspecified "sudden complication" and the transplanted uterus, which was obtained from a cadaver, has been removed.

The first uterine transplant, which was unsuccessful, was performed in 1931. This was the first time the procedure had been attempted in the United States, where it is still considered experimental.



First Uterus Transplant in the U.S. Fails After Complication

The first ever attempted uterus transplant in the U.S. has failed after an unknown complication occurred:

The Cleveland Clinic says it has removed a transplanted uterus — the first-ever in the U.S. — after the patient suffered from a "sudden complication."

The clinic conducted the landmark operation in late February. As we reported, the procedure is intended to "open up another possible path to parenthood besides surrogacy or adoption for U.S. women who do not have a uterus, or who have a uterus that does not function."

The transplant was part of a study that the clinic says is meant to include 10 women with uterine factor infertility, meaning "they were born without a uterus, have lost their uterus, or have a uterus that no longer functions." The clinic says in a statement that the study will continue despite this setback.

The risky procedure takes into account the chance of the body rejecting the organ by including the administration of anti-rejection drugs throughout the years following the surgery as well as monthly cervical biopsies to check for organ rejection. In vitro fertilization is used to create embryos that will be implanted in the uterus. The transplant is intended to be temporary, and after the successful childbirth of one or two babies the transplanted uterus is either removed by a hysterectomy or allowed to disintegrate. Nine uterus transplants have taken place in Sweden, resulting in 5 pregnancies and 4 births.

Study about the first ever live birth following a uterus transplant: Livebirth after uterus transplantation (DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61728-1)

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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Dunbal on Friday March 11 2016, @09:01PM

    by Dunbal (3515) on Friday March 11 2016, @09:01PM (#317156)

    I don't think organ transplants work like that.

    Yes they do. And I'll use my authority as a doctor to state that. Rejection can be acute, hyperacute or chronic. You can also have the host rejecting the graft (the uterus) OR you can have the graft reject the host, although for obvious reasons this is more common in blood/bone marrow transplants. But organs contain immune-type cells as part of their make up and they can start to react against the host. There is a much higher risk of any rejection initially, but you're dealing with the immune system. For reasons that are not 100% clear yet, it can become suddenly triggered against a particular antigen at any time, just like you can become suddenly allergic to something at any time. Most people when asked "are you allergic to peanuts (for example)" answer incorrectly by saying "no, I've had peanuts with no problems". One of the necessary conditions for allergy is that you have to have been exposed to the allergen at some point in your life. The technically correct answer would be "I haven't had a problem with peanuts so far"... There are the exceptions (gut bacteria can get up to mischief sometimes) but they're not the norm.

    Anyway that's why transplant recipients are kept on medication that depresses the immune response for the rest of their lives. This medication does it's job - depressing the immune system, which means that transplant recipients need to be monitored carefully and regularly for the rest of their lives, since they can get infections much faster and that are much more severe than the average person.

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