First baby born using uterus transplanted from dead donor a 'resounding success'

Henrietta Brewer
December 6, 2018

A baby has been born using a uterus transplanted from a dead donor for the first time, offering hope to those unable to conceive.

Uterus transplantation was pioneered by Swedish doctor Mats Brannstrom, who has delivered eight children from women who received wombs from family members or friends.

The girl born in the Brazilian case was delivered via caesarean section at 35 weeks and three days, and weighed 2,550 grams, the case study said.

The transplanted uterus was removed during the procedure, and no anomalies were seen.

She began having periods after six weeks and after seven months, fertilised eggs were implanted.

The donor died of a brain hemorrhage caused by a stroke.

The Journal cites 10 previous cases of failed uterus transplants from deceased donors, in the United States, the Czech Republic and Turkey.

So far, there have been 39 uterus transplants from live donors around the world, resulting in 11 births.

"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.

Dr. Richard Kennedy, President of the International Federation of Fertility Societies, who was not involved in the work, commented that the organization "welcomes this announcement, which is an anticipated evolution from live donors with clear advantages and the prospect of increasing supply for women with hitherto untreatable infertility".

"The Brazilian group has proven that using deceased donors is a viable option", said the clinic's Dr. Tommaso Falcone, who was involved in the OH case. He also tried the procedure on a second Brazilian woman, but she had to have the uterus removed two days after the operation because of complications.

With both the mother and baby healthy a year later, it represents a massive step forward for maternal science.

But out of the 10 womb transplants from deceased donors, none of the procedures has resulted in a birth - until now.

In a landmark move, a baby in Brazil has been born to a woman with a transplanted uterus from a deceased donor. She was 32 years old at the time of the uterine transplant, which took place at the Hospital das Clinicas, University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine, Brazil, and lasted for more than 10 hours, on September 20, 2016.

"This represents a major advance in reproductive health", she said.

Two more transplants are planned as part of the Brazilian study. This affects approximately 3 to 5 per cent of women, Dr. Tullius said, including those born without a uterus or those who have had hysterectomies for cancer-related reasons. Last year, doctors at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas delivered the first USA baby to be carried in a transplanted uterus.

Is a uterus transplant permanent?

Uterus transplantation is a relatively new area of medicine.

In the end, they held off an additional month after tests suggested the lining of the donor uterus wasn't quite thick enough to support implantation.

"They should also encourage forthcoming procedures to be done and reported in a transparent way by endorsing prospective registration of the procedures and by developing accurate registries".

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