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NYU Langone Performs First U.S. Heart Transplant Using Novel Organ Revitalization Technique

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From PRNewswire – The NYU Langone Transplant Institute on Monday became the first center in the United States to transplant a heart using a novel method in which, after the heart has stopped beating and death has been declared, surgeons place the organ donor on cardiopulmonary bypass and blood is circulated through the body.

This enables transplant surgeons to assess a heart for transplant while mitigating potential injury to all organs. It also holds the promise of significantly increasing the number of heart transplants from donors who have died from cardiac arrest as opposed to the typical donation after brain death.

The procedure was performed by a team of cardiothoracic surgeons, anesthesiologists, intensivists, nurses, perfusionists, and others from the Transplant Institute, in collaboration with LiveOnNY, the organ procurement organization. It is the first in an ongoing research study to evaluate the feasibility and safety of the protocol.

“This groundbreaking transplant procedure is the culmination of nearly two years of hard work to ensure all the ethical, logistical, and regulatory needs and requirements were met,” says Nader Moazami, MD, professor of cardiothoracic surgery and Surgical Director of Heart Transplantation & Mechanical Circulatory Support at NYU Langone.

Other transplant centers in the country have recently launched clinical trials to study Donation after Circulatory Death, or DCD, using a device that circulates warm, oxygenated blood through the heart after it has been removed from the body. NYU Langone’s innovative protocol uses the standard cardiopulmonary bypass used in cardiac surgery to reestablish circulation while the heart is still in the body.

“We’re thrilled with the success of this first transplant surgery, which has promise to increase not only heart donation rates, but other lifesaving organs as well,” says Zachary N. Kon, MD, associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery and Surgical Director of Lung Transplantation at NYU Langone. “One of the advantages of this novel method is that it gives all organs the potential benefit of restoring perfusion prior to procurement.”

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Corey Bryant serves as Director of Communications for The Alliance.
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