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J Heart Transplant. 1988 May-Jun;7(3):238-46.

Effects of cyclosporine and antibody adsorption on pig cardiac xenograft survival in the baboon.

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Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Cape Town Medical School, South Africa.


The problem of donor heart supply would be solved if hearts could be transplanted from readily available animals such as the pig or sheep. We have investigated heterotopic heart transplantation (in the neck) with the pig as donor and baboon as recipient. Five experimental groups were studied. Control hearts (group 1, n = 4) were rejected within 4 minutes to 8 hours. Splenectomy done before transplantation (group 2, n = 3) did not extend survival significantly (30 minutes to 8 hours). Donor heart survival in baboons receiving immunosuppressive therapy of cyclosporine and methylprednisolone (group 3, n = 5) was from 15 to 75 minutes only in four animals and for 5 days in one animal. Anti-pig antibody adsorption from baboon blood by pretransplant donor-specific kidney hemoperfusion (group 4, n = 7) resulted in cardiac function for 6 to 12 hours in three cases and from 4 to 5 days in four cases (p less than 0.02). A combination of pretransplant antibody adsorption and immunosuppression (group 5, n = 4) resulted in graft survival of 8 to 20 hours in three cases and of 4 days in one case (p less than 0.03). Histopathologic features of vascular (hyperacute) rejection were seen in all hearts except one (the 5-day survivor in group 3). Pretransplant adsorption of antibody clearly prolonged survival of discordant cardiac xenografts in some cases. Further exploration of this technique appears justified.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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