icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
18 Aug, 2019 14:45

Pigs’ hearts could be transplanted into humans ‘within three years’

Pigs’ hearts could be transplanted into humans ‘within three years’

Modified pig hearts could be used for human transplants within just three years, according to the pioneering surgeon who performed the first transplantation in the UK 40 years ago.

Speaking on the anniversary of the breakthrough operation, Sir Terence English said his protege from that successful 1979 transplant will try to replace a human kidney with a pig’s kidney later this year.

The expert believes this could set the groundwork for more complicated transplants of animal organs into human bodies – a process called “xenotransplantation.”


The 87-year-old told the Sunday Telegraph: “If the result of xenotransplantation is satisfactory with porcine kidneys to humans then it is likely that hearts would be used with good effects in humans within a few years.

“If it works with a kidney, it will work with a heart... That will transform the issue,” he explained.

Pigs’ hearts have a similar anatomy to those of humans, so they are used as models for developing new treatments. Heart failure is considered a global pandemic, with at least 26 million people affected around the world. It’s hoped that using pigs’ hearts could help revolutionize how doctors combat the disease.

Also on rt.com The road to hell is paved with good intentions? RT debates controversial human-monkey hybrid trial

Like this story? Share it with a friend!