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Find out the cause of death of the historic pig heart transplant patient

On 7/1, world was amazed when American man David Bennett Snr was successfully transplanted a pig heart that has been genetically engineered to be suitable for humans. However, just two months later, he passed away.

Researchers have been trying to figure out where the error comes from. And now, they have found the cause.

An unforeseen cause is infection virusa virus from pigs, according to South China Morning Post (SCMP).

The patient was infected with a virus from pigs, called cytomegalovirus, abbreviated as CMV


According to Dr. Muhammad Mohiuddin, from the University of Maryland School of Medicine (USA), co-leader of the team that performed the transplant, said that this virus is called cytomegalovirus, abbreviated as CMV.

During the autopsy, the scientists found that, although pig heart Still pumping blood well, but a scar tissue in the heart, causing it to thicken and not be able to fully expand after pushing the blood out.

The PCR test also showed the presence of CMV virus – the virus in pigs, although no obvious signs of infection were detected.

Dr. Mohiuddin said that the CMV in this pig was definitely spread from the transplant, although before the transplant, the doctors checked very carefully for the virus.

Mr. Mohiuddin said it was one of a number of factors that could have contributed to the patient’s death, according to SCMP.

The overall transplant procedure went well


Previously, science was still unclear whether the human body would accept a pig heart or reject it, even the pig heart has been genetically modified to reduce the risk. rejection.

Mr Mohiuddin said: “Understanding exactly what led to the patient’s death will help avoid repeating the mistake in the future.

The January 7 transplant went well overall, and for 49 days the new heart was still functioning well inside the patient.

However, two weeks after the transplant, surgeons had to operate on the patient’s abdomen to reduce intestinal infections. They also give patients less immunosuppressive drugs and provide antibodies to help patients fight off infections.

On day 49 after the surgery, health The patient began to go downhill and died on March 8, according to SCMP.

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