First Successful Uterus Transplant from Deceased Donor Leads to Healthy Baby

Leslie Hanson
December 7, 2018

A woman in Brazil has successfully given birth after receiving a womb from a dead donor, the first time such a procedure has been successful.

The Lancet reports that the mother had Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome, a condition that causes the uterus and vagina to not develop properly.

The woman received the transplant in 2016 from a 45-year-old woman who had three children and died of a stroke.

The first baby born from a woman who recieved a uterus transplant from a dead donor is healthy a year on.

After seven months, the fertilised eggs were implanted.

On 15 December 2017, a baby girl weighing 2,550 grams (5.6 pounds) was delivered through Caesarean section. The live donors need to be family members of the woman and be willing to donate, as per the current practice. The first successful birth from a living uterus donor was in Sweden in 2014, and there have only been 11 babies delivered that way since.

Eleven previous births have used a transplanted uterus, but they were from a living-not a deceased-woman, who was usually a relative or a friend, according to The Associated Press. Previously, with live donors, doctors have waited at least a year following the transplant to begin trying for a pregnancy.

"The use of deceased donors could greatly broaden access to this treatment, and our results provide proof-of-concept for a new option for women with uterine infertility", Ejzenberg said in a journal news release.

It's still early days, but so far, there are no complaints.

It said the case involved connecting veins from the donor's uterus with the recipient's veins, as well as linking arteries, ligaments, and vaginal canals.

"With a deceased donor, you reduce the risk because you don't have the risk to the donor - and you reduce the costs, too, because you don't have the hospitalisation and the very long surgery of the donor", said Dr Dani Ejzenberg of the University of São Paulo, who led the research.

"There are still lots of things we don't understand about pregnancies, like how embryos implant", said Dr. Cesar Diaz told USA Today. Flyckt and her colleagues in Cleveland have also performed two transplants from deceased donors.

Women who would be candidates for a uterus transplant would have absolute uterine infertility, meaning they don't have a uterus or that it is too damaged to support a pregnancy.

The one added hitch was that doctors removed the transplanted uterus following her c-section, which allowed her to stop taking the anti-rejection medication. The recipient tolerated the transplant relatively well thanks to immunosuppression drugs, other treatments and constant monitoring. But making the transition period even five months shorter means the recipient will need that much less medical care and powerful immunosuppressant drugs for their uterus to stay healthy.

In the end, they held off an additional month after tests suggested the lining of the donor uterus wasn't quite thick enough to support implantation.

"It is a breakthrough in the field of obstetrics as well as a great advantage for women who lost their uterus for some reason or don't have from birth".

The researchers say that transplants from deceased donors might have some benefits over donations from live donors, including removing surgical risks for a live donor, and that many countries already have well-established national systems to regulate and distribute organ donations from deceased donors.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article