Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Good news for infant heart transplants

I have followed organ transplantation science for some years now, and there is some great news out today. A study shows that infants under age one year can accept heart transplants from a donor with a different blood type. For example, a heart from a donor with Type A blood can be successfully transplanted into an infant with Type O blood. This works because children this young have not yet developed the antibodies that would normally reject antigens from a different blood type. Dr. Lori West says that one of the biggest challenges in transplantation is the whether or not a patient can do well with the donor organ. Dr. West says that now more babies will survive congenital (born with) heart defects and go on to live full lives with a donor heart.

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