Heterotopic cardiac xenotransplantation in the intra-abdominal position has been studied extensively in a pig-to-baboon model to define the optimal donor genetics and immunosuppressive regimen to prevent xenograft rejection. Extensive investigation using this model is a necessary stepping stone toward the development of a life-supporting animal model, with the ultimate goal of demonstrating suitability for clinical cardiac xenotransplantation trials. Aspects of surgical technique, pre- and post-operative care, graft monitoring, and minimization of infectious risk have all required refinement and optimization of heterotopic cardiac xenotransplantation over time. This review details non-immunologic obstacles relevant to this model described by our group and in the literature, as well as strategies that have been developed to address these specific challenges.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine