Researchers Salvage Damaged Lungs For Transplants By Attaching Them To Live Pigs
The scientists from Vanderbilt and Columbia connected lungs deemed too damaged to be used for transplants to a large vein in the neck of a live pig, so that its blood flowed through the vessels. In one case, that circulation allowed the human lung to heal enough to meet transplant requirements.
The New York Times:
In Astounding Test, Scientists Revive Damaged Lungs For Transplant
The six lungs were taken from brain-dead patients and offered to transplant surgeons. But at major medical centers, one surgeon after another refused the organs. But researchers at Columbia and Vanderbilt saw an opportunity. The results, reported on Monday in Nature Medicine, seem like pure science fiction: Within 24 hours, the lungs looked viable, and lab tests confirmed they had been resuscitated. (Kolata, 7/13)
Connecting Donated Human Lungs To Pigs Repaired Damage, Scientists Say
For people who need a lung transplant, the wait is often prolonged by the frustrating fact that most donor organs have to be discarded: Only 20% of donated lungs meet medical criteria for transplantation, translating into far fewer organs than people on waiting lists. Now, a team of researchers has shown they might be able to salvage more of these lungs by borrowing a pig’s circulatory system. (Cooney, 7/13)