A Brazilian woman gave birth to a live baby for the first time in the world after receiving a womb transplant from a deceased donor, Reuters reported.
This is the first successful case of its kind, doctors reported. The case was published in The Lancet medical journal.
The successful birth comes after 10 previously known cases of uterus transplants from deceased donors. They were performed in the United States, the Czech Republic and Turkey but failed to produce a live birth.
The transplant was carried out in September 2016 when the recipient was 32 years old. The recipient had been born without a uterus due to a condition called Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome. The donor was 45 and died of a stroke.
It involved connecting veins from the donor uterus with the recipient’s veins, as well as linking arteries, ligaments and vaginal canals, explained Dani Ejzenberg, a doctor at Brazil’s Sao Paulo University hospital who led the research.
The girl was delivered via caesarean section at 35 weeks and three days. It weighed 2,550 grams (nearly 6 lbs), the case study said.
At seven months and 20 days - when the case study report was submitted to The Lancet - the baby girl was continuing to breastfeed and weighed 7.2 kg (16 lb).
This successful case shows the technique is feasible and could offer women with uterine infertility access to a larger pool of potential donors, doctors comment.
The current norm for receiving a womb transplant is that the organ would come from a live family member willing to donate it.
The first baby born after a live donor womb transplant was in Sweden in 2013. Scientists have so far reported a total of 39 procedures of this kind, resulting in 11 live births.
Infertility affects around 10 to 15 percent of couples worldwide. Around one in 500 women have uterine problems.
Before uterus transplants became possible, the only options to have a child were adoption or surrogacy.
The numbers of people willing and committed to donate organs upon their own deaths are far larger than those of live donors, offering a much wider potential donor population,” Ejzenberg said in a statement.
The outcomes and effects of womb donations from live and deceased donors have yet to be compared, and said the technique could still be refined and optimize, she explained.