BFF-43 First baby born via uterus transplanted from dead donor

ZCZC

BFF-43

HEALTH-FERTILITY-REPRODUCTION-WOMEN

First baby born via uterus transplanted from dead donor

PARIS, Dec 5, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – In a medical first, a mother who received a
uterus transplant from a dead donor gave birth to a healthy baby, researchers
reported Wednesday.

The breakthrough operation, performed two years ago in Brazil, shows that
such transplants are feasible and could help thousands of women unable to
have children due to uterine problems, according to a study published in The
Lancet medical journal.

The baby girl was born in September 2016 in Sao Paolo.

Until recently, the only options available to women with so-called uterine
infertility were adoption or the services of a surrogate mother.

The first successful childbirth following uterine transplant from a living
donor took place in 2013 in Sweden, and there have been 10 others since then.

But there are far more women in need of transplants than there are
potential live donors, so doctors wanted to find out if the procedure could
work using the uterus of a woman who had died.

Ten attempts were made — in the United States, the Czech Republic, and
Turkey — before the success reported Wednesday.

Infertility affects 10- to 15 percent of couples.

Of this group, one in 500 women have problems with their uterus — due,
for example, to a malformation, hysterectomy, or infection — that prevent
them from becoming pregnant and carrying a child to term.

“Our results provide a proof-of-concept for a new option for women with
uterine infertility,” said Dani Ejzenberg, a doctor at the teaching hospital
of the University of Sao Paulo.

He describing the procedure as a “medical milestone”.

“The number of people willing and committed to donate organs upon their
own death are far larger than those of live donors, offering a much wider
potential donor population,” he said in a statement.

The 32-year-old recipient was born without a uterus as a result of a rare
syndrome.

Four months before the transplant, she had in-vitro fertilisation
resulting in eight fertilised eggs, which were preserved through freezing.

The donor was a 45-year-old woman who died from a stroke.

Her uterus was removed and transplanted in surgery that lasted more than
ten hours.

– Proof of concept –

The surgical team had to connect the donor’s uterus with the veins,
arteries, ligaments, and vaginal canal of the recipient.

To prevent her body from rejecting the new organ, the woman was given five
different drugs, along with antimicrobials, anti-blood clotting treatments,
and aspirin.

After five months, the uterus showed no sign of rejection, ultrasound
scans were normal, and the woman was menstruating regularly.

The fertilised eggs were implanted after seven months. Ten days later,
doctors delivered the good news: she was pregnant.

Besides a minor kidney infection — treated with antibiotics — during the
32nd week, the pregnancy was normal. After nearly 36 weeks a baby girl
weighing 2.5 kilogrammes (about six pounds) was delivered via caesarean
section.

Mother and baby left the hospital three days later.

The transplanted uterus was removed during the C-section, allowing the
woman to stop taking the immunosuppressive drugs.

At age seven months and 12 days — when the manuscript reporting the
findings was submitted for publication — the baby was breastfeeding and
weighed 7.2 kilogrammes.

“We must congratulate the authors,” commented Dr. Srdjan Saso, an honorary
clinical lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology at Imperial College London,
describing the findings as “extremely exciting”.

Richard Kennedy, president of the International Federation of Fertility
Societies, also welcomed the announcement but sounded a note of caution.

“Uterine transplant is a novel technique and should be regarded as
experimental,” he said.

BSS/AFP/BZC/2036HRS