For the first time, a bilateral kidney xenotransplantation (pig-to-human kidney transplant) performed in a brain-dead person is detailed in a scientific journal.

The surgical team responsible for this intervention, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, performed the transplant on September 30, 2021 to check its viability. Porcine kidneys did not cause hyperacute rejection, maintained blood flow, and produced urine until study completion, 77 hours post-engraftment. It is not the first time that the viability of this type of xenotransplantation in a brain-dead person has been reported, but it is for the first time that the pig-to-human kidney transplant has been done with the endorsement offered by peer review in a scientific journal.

A report including a bioethical assessment of these xenotransplantations has recently been published on the Bioethics Observatory website.

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