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Transplant question
Old 03-14-2015, 08:48 PM   #1
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Transplant question

This isn't Germaine to anything in particular, but a news story the other day got me wondering about something. I know there are some retired medical professionals here so I thought I would throw this out there.
The story concerned a heart transplant performed on the youngest recipient (about three weeks old) in several years. It was stated the new heart was the size of "a strawberry" and would need to be replaced in about 20 years. Which got me wondering... Is the growth rate for an organ determined by the recipient body, or is it something built in to the organ itself?

Thanks for any responses.
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Old 03-14-2015, 09:53 PM   #2
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I've never heard that heart size was a huge concern. Neonatal organ donors are most commonly from neonates born with anencephaly, which is a congenital absence of virtually all of the brain except the brain stem. I'm not sure how they can determine the heart would need to be replaced in about 20 years, however. Many things can happen before then, especially rejection. The reason a newborn needs a heart transplant is a condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and when possible, heart transplant is the best option for these babies. Many don't live beyond a few days, because the left side of the heart is too small to supply oxygen and blood to the tissues. In trying to answer your question, BTW I found an article from 1996 about a baby who had a heart transplant at 90 minutes of age. I personally have not had any patients who have had heart transplants.
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Old 03-15-2015, 12:43 AM   #3
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I echo what EWG said.

Here is a story about a baby with severe hypoplastic left heart who was put on the transplant list while in the uterus and received his transplanted heart at eight hours of age in 2006. AFAIK he continues to do well nine years later, though, as the article concludes, he is at risk of problems in 20 years or so, rejection being top of the list.

Baby Xander's life saving heart transplant - The Globe and Mail
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Old 03-15-2015, 12:55 AM   #4
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A little off topic but my mother-in-law had a heart transplant 25 years ago and is still alive.
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Old 03-15-2015, 01:22 AM   #5
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I just read about the first successful penis transplant, I hope it was larger than a strawberry
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Old 03-15-2015, 07:04 AM   #6
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Geez I just read the article, amazing


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Old 03-15-2015, 07:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastWest Gal View Post
The reason a newborn needs a heart transplant is a condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and when possible, heart transplant is the best option for these babies.
My great-niece had that; fortunately they found it in an ultrasound before she was born and, even better, they were able to do necessary repairs to her heart rather than wait for a transplant, but she had surgery in her first week of life and then a couple of more surgeries after that. She's 4 now and a real pistol; she probably won't be able to run marathons but she's pretty much normal.

Amazing what they can do now.
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Old 03-15-2015, 11:31 AM   #8
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A little off topic, but within the transplant realm.....my son had a puncture wound injury of his eye at age nine. This resulted in the need of immediate surgery for an IOL (intraocular lens) implant. Surgery went well, with vision and eyeball health restored to preinjury condition. The surgeon said he did not know if the lens would last 60-70 years. Son is now 26 and has excellent eye health. Any one with anecdotal evidence on longevity of an IOL?
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Old 03-15-2015, 03:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by infoseeker View Post
A little off topic, but within the transplant realm.....my son had a puncture wound injury of his eye at age nine. This resulted in the need of immediate surgery for an IOL (intraocular lens) implant. Surgery went well, with vision and eyeball health restored to preinjury condition. The surgeon said he did not know if the lens would last 60-70 years. Son is now 26 and has excellent eye health. Any one with anecdotal evidence on longevity of an IOL?
No anecdotal evidence, but you may wish to read some of the peer reviewed publications on the subject:

https://scholar.google.ca/scholar?q=...ed=0CBoQgQMwAA
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Old 03-15-2015, 03:58 PM   #10
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Chilkoot - I believe the answer is external to the organ, originating in the endocrine system.

As it happens I'm a (pre) transplant patient myself (on a waiting list). The week after next I have a meeting with my transplant specialist at Columbia Presbyterian who also handles pediatric cases. She also teaches the topic at the medical school. If your question isn't answered definitively by then I'll ask her.
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