Pulmonary xenotransplantation: rapidly progressing into the unknown.
As one approach to circumventing the dire shortage of human lungs for transplantation, a handful of investigators have begun to probe the possibility of pulmonary xenotransplantation. The immunologic and perhaps physiologic barriers encountered by these investigators are considerable and progress in pulmonary xenotransplantation has lagged behind progress in cardiac and kidney xenotransplantation. However, during the last few years there have been substantial advances in the field of pulmonary xenotransplantation including, most noticeably, significant progress in attenuating hyperacute dysfunction. Progress has been made in understanding the barriers imposed by xenoreactive antibodies, complement, coagulation incompatibility and porcine pulmonary intravascular macrophages. Although our understanding of the barriers to pulmonary xenotransplantation is far from complete and the clinical application of pulmonary xenotransplantation is not yet in sight, current progress is fast paced. This progress provides a basis for future work and for a hope that the shortage of human lungs for transplantation will not always be a matter of life and death.
Cantu, E; Parker, W; Platt, JL; Duane Davis, R
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