'Medical milestone' as first baby born from womb of dead donor

Doctors hold a baby girl born to a mother who received a uterus from a deceased donor in Brazil. A novel transplantation procedure may help more infertile women become pregnant

First baby born via uterus transplanted from dead donor

A baby has been born to a mother who had a uterus transplant from a deceased woman, in a world first.

The Brazilian doctors are confident this successful attempt will give more options for uterus transplants in the future, having already planned two more transplants as a part of their study.

And, after a normal pregnancy, a 2.5 kilogram baby was delivered by Caesarean section on 15 December 2017.

Aside from relying on a deceased donor for their uterine transplant, the doctors might have also made the procedure less costly and risky.

The woman had been born with a rare genetic condition that left her without a uterus, known as Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome, but she was otherwise healthy.

Four months prior to the transplant, the recipient woman had received in-vitro fertilization, which yielded eight viable embryos that were frozen.

The transplant womb was taken from a mother-of-three who had died from bleeding on the brain.

The report concludes that the results establish proof-of-concept for "treating uterine infertility by transplantation from a deceased donor, opening a path to a healthy pregnancy for all women with uterine factor infertility, without the need of living donors or live donor surgery".

Research leader Dr Dani Ejzenberg, of University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, said: "The use of deceased donors could greatly broaden access to this treatment.for women with uterine infertility".

"The number of people willing and committed to donate organs upon their own death are far larger than those of live donors, offering a much wider potential donor population", he said in a statement.

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"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. Those transplants can only be done for women who find a donor, who must undergo a complicated surgery and lengthy recovery, Dr. Tullius said.

Surgeons removed the uterus during the C-section, and the woman was allowed to stop taking immunosuppressant drugs.

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

Researchers in Turkey performed a uterine transplant in 2011 from a deceased donor but have not had any successful pregnancies. Within this group about one in 500 women have irreversible infertility - which can be due to a congenital malformation, cancer, or other illness, leading to genetic absence or removal of the uterus. Last year, doctors at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas delivered the first US baby to be carried in a transplanted uterus.

Uterine transplantation is a multi-step process that requires coordination among numerous physicians.

In all those cases, the uteruses came from living women - often a family member or friend of the recipient.

In a 10-hour operation, surgeons linked the donor's uterus to the woman's arteries, veins, ligaments and vaginal canal.

"There are still lots of things we don't understand about pregnancies, like how embryos implant", said Dr. Cesar Diaz, who co-authored an accompanying commentary in the journal. Falcone said the fact that the transplant was successful after the uterus was preserved in ice for almost eight hours demonstrated how resilient the uterus is.

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.

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