PITTSBURGH, May 17 Protected by its own nutrients and blood supply, a beating heart supported by an investigational organ preservation device was successfully transplanted into a 47-year-old man with congestive heart failure and pulmonary hypertension on Sunday, April 8. The surgery was performed at UPMC by Kenneth R. McCurry, M.D., assistant professor of surgery, division of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and director of cardiopulmonary transplantation at UPMC's Heart, Lung and Esophageal Surgery Institute.
The patient, who is from Portage, Pa., is doing well and was discharged from the hospital on Monday, April 30. The donated heart, from a 46-year-old Caucasian male, was maintained in a beating state on the investigational Organ Care System (OCS) for two hours and 45 minutes.
Dr. McCurry is principal investigator of the PROCEED Trial, at UPMC, which is evaluating the safety and efficacy of the OCS for heart transplants, manufactured by TransMedics Inc., of Andover, Mass. The OCS is designed to maintain donor hearts in a beating, functioning state during transportation from the donor to the recipient's hospital. After removal from the donor, the heart is placed into the OCS, where it is immediately revived to a beating state, perfused with oxygen and nutrient-rich blood and maintained at the appropriate temperature. Using the OCS, organs are kept in their physiological, beating state for delivery to the recipient and until implantation.
"This study presents an exciting opportunity to apply the latest medical technology to help patients receive lifesaving transplants. By maintaining the organ in near perfect physiologic state, the OCS will reduce injury and help extend the life of these organs, which also will improve patient outcomes with less rejection and shorter length of ICU and hospital stay," said Dr. McCurry.