First baby born us­ing uterus trans­planted from de­ceased donor

Medicine Hat News - - LIFESTYLES - MARIA CHENG

LON­DON Brazil­ian doc­tors are re­port­ing the world’s first baby born to a woman with a uterus trans­planted from a de­ceased donor.

Eleven pre­vi­ous births have used a trans­planted womb but from a liv­ing donor, usu­ally a rel­a­tive or friend.

Ex­perts said us­ing uteruses from women who have died could make more trans­plants pos­si­ble. Ten pre­vi­ous at­tempts us­ing de­ceased donors in the Czech Repub­lic, Tur­key and the U.S. have failed.

The baby girl was de­liv­ered last De­cem­ber by a woman born with­out a uterus be­cause of a rare syn­drome. The woman — a 32-year-old psy­chol­o­gist — was ini­tially ap­pre­hen­sive about the trans­plant, said Dr. Dani Ejzen­berg, the trans­plant team’s lead doc­tor at the Univer­sity of Sao Paulo School of Medicine.

“This was the most im­por­tant thing in her life,” he said. “Now she comes in to show us the baby and she is so happy,”

The woman be­came preg­nant through in vitro fer­til­iza­tion seven months af­ter the trans­plant. The donor was a 45-year-old woman who had three chil­dren and died of a stroke.

The re­cip­i­ent, who was not iden­ti­fied, gave birth by ce­sarean sec­tion. Doc­tors also re­moved the womb, partly so the woman would no longer have to take anti-re­jec­tion medicines. Nearly a year later, mother and baby are both healthy.

Two more trans­plants are planned as part of the Brazil­ian study. De­tails of the first case were pub­lished Tues­day in the med­i­cal jour­nal Lancet.

Uterus trans­plan­ta­tion was pi­o­neered by Swedish doc­tor Mats Brannstrom, who has de­liv­ered eight chil­dren from women who got wombs from fam­ily mem­bers or friends. Two ba­bies have been born at Bay­lor Univer­sity Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Texas and one in Ser­bia, also from trans­plants from liv­ing donors.

In 2016, doc­tors at the Cleve­land Clinic trans­planted a uterus from a de­ceased donor, but it failed af­ter an in­fec­tion de­vel­oped.

“The Brazil­ian group has proven that us­ing de­ceased donors is a vi­able op­tion,” said the clinic’s Dr. Tom­maso Fal­cone, who was in­volved in the Ohio case. “It may give us a big­ger sup­ply of or­gans than we thought were pos­si­ble.”

The Cleve­land pro­gram is con­tin­u­ing to use de­ceased donors. Fal­cone said the fact that the trans­plant was suc­cess­ful af­ter the uterus was pre­served in ice for nearly eight hours demon­strated how re­silient the uterus is. Doc­tors try to keep the time an or­gan is with­out blood flow to a min­i­mum.

Other ex­perts said the knowl­edge gained from such pro­ce­dures might also solve some lin­ger­ing mys­ter­ies about preg­nan­cies. ___ The As­so­ci­ated Press Health & Science De­part­ment re­ceives sup­port from the Howard Hughes Med­i­cal In­sti­tute's De­part­ment of Science Ed­u­ca­tion. The AP is solely re­spon­si­ble for all con­tent.

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