A variety of milestones in transplantation have been reported recently.
Generating wide publicity in the mass media was a report from Methodist Hospital and Baylor University in Houston on the successful completion of an autotransplant in a 20-year-old man with a sarcoma in the left atrium of his heart.
On April 27, Drs. Michael Reardon and John Baldwin removed the heart of college student Guy Altmann and resected the tumor along with most of Altmann's left atrium and mitral valve. UPI reported that the surgeons used part of a bovine pericardium to rebuild the left atrium and installed an artificial mitral valve before replacing the patient's heart.
The procedure is believed to be the first successful autotransplant for a cardiac malignancy. Four days following the operation, Dr. Reardon said that Altmann's prognosis was relatively good. The surgeons reportedly elected to try the procedure because they feared Altmann could die within a few weeks if a donor heart did not become available.
On April 29, transplant teams at Children's Memorial Hospital and Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago completed the first father/son living-related intestine transplant in Illinois. Eleven-year-old Joshua Olson was reported to be in critical but stable condition after receiving part of his 37-year-old father's bowel. Joshua suffers from neuropathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, a rare congenital disease. Doctors said they could not predict the boy's long-term prognosis because the procedure they used is so new.
A 12-year-old girl with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome became Detroit's youngest heart recipient on April 28. The girl was the first patient to receive a transplant under a new joint pediatric heart transplant program between Henry Ford Hospital and Children's Hospital of Michigan. According to a press release issued by the Henry Ford Health System, the new collaborative program is geared to treat children as young as six months; patients who are 15 and older will be treated as adult patients.
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