PURPOSE OF REVIEW: While clinical allotransplantation is the preferred method of providing replacement organs for people with end-stage heart and lung disease, this procedure, under current donation rates, cannot supply the required demands. Thoracic organ xenotransplantation has been considered a reasonable solution to the donor crisis, but it is still a field incapable of producing grafts that are capable of surviving and functioning long enough to be clinically meaningful. To some, the barriers may seem to be insurmountable. Given the advances made over the past few years, however, successful thoracic organ xenotransplantation could become a reality in the near future. Here we review many of the important advances that have been reported recently. RECENT FINDINGS: The roles and the interactions of the immune, coagulation, and complement systems have been investigated. The development of transgenic and knockout pigs has only begun to help further elucidate these roles and interactions, instead of providing a quick solution as some may have previously hoped. SUMMARY: Significant barriers to successful xenotransplantation still exist, but if we continue to pool academic, governmental, and industrial resources, we can overcome these barriers and help make clinical xenotransplantation a reality in the near future.
- Cardiac xenotransplantation
- Pulmonary xenotransplantation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy