Historically significant: A pig heart implant in a US man offers hope for organ shortages


The “historic” treatment was performed on Friday, according to a statement released by the University of Maryland Medical School on Monday. While the patient’s prognosis is uncertain, it is a significant step forward for animal-to-human transplantation.

On New Year’s Eve, the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency approval for the surgery as a last-ditch effort for a patient who was unsuitable for a traditional transplant.

This was a game-changing surgery that moves us closer to resolving the organ scarcity situation “Bartley Griffith, the surgeon who implanted the pig heart, said “We are proceeding cautiously, but we are also optimistic that this first-in-the-world surgery will provide an important new option for patients in the future.”


The surgery, according to Muhammad Mohiuddin, co-founder of the university’s heart xenotransplantation programme, was the conclusion of years of research, which included pig-to-baboon transplants with survival durations exceeding nine months.

Bennett’s donor pig came from a herd that had gone through genetic modification.

Three genes that would have caused humans to reject pig organs, as well as a gene that would have caused abnormal growth of pig heart tissue, were “knocked out.”

Nowadays, the valves of a pig’s heart are utilized in humans. Pigs are suitable donors because of factors like their size, big litter and also because they’re already getting reared for food.