Birth from death: the first baby from a uterus transplanted from a deceased donor

At 5 pounds 10 ounces, a bundle of joy was delivered to her 33-year-old mother in São Paulo, Brazil on December 15, 2017. As our eyes turn toward celebrating this young lady’s birthday, a slew of authors1 have published something unique about this birth: to the world’s knowledge it is the first recorded instance of a human child born from a uterus transplanted from a deceased donor. As the authors note, “The results establish proof-of-concept for treating uterine infertility by transplantation from a deceased donor, opening a path to healthy pregnancy for all women.” For more, please consider glancing below. For now, please join me in wishing the birthday girl many more.

From The Lancet:

  • In September, 2016, a 32-year-old woman with congenital uterine absence (Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser [MRKH] syndrome) underwent uterine transplantation in Hospital das Clínicas, University of São Paulo, Brazil, from a donor who died of subarachnoid haemorrhage. The donor was 45 years old and had three previous vaginal deliveries. The recipient had one in-vitro fertilisation cycle 4 months before transplant, which yielded eight cryopreserved blastocysts.
  • The recipient showed satisfactory postoperative recovery and was discharged after 8 days’ observation in hospital. Immunosuppression was induced with prednisolone and thymoglobulin and continued via tacrolimus and mycophenalate mofetil (MMF), until 5 months post-transplantation, at which time azathioprine replaced MMF.
  • Caesarean delivery occurred on Dec 15, 2017, near gestational week 36. The female baby weighed 2550 g at birth, appropriate for gestational age, with Apgar scores of 9 at 1 min, 10 at 5 min, and 10 at 10 min, and along with the mother remains healthy and developing normally 7 months post partum.
  • The uterus was removed in the same surgical procedure as the livebirth and immunosuppressive therapy was suspended.

 


  1. Dani Ejzenberg, Wellington Andraus, Luana Regina Baratelli Carelli Mendes, Liliana Ducatti, Alice Song, Ryan Tanigawa, Vinicius Rocha-Santos, Rubens Macedo Arantes, José Maria Soares Jr, Paulo Cesar Serafini, Luciana Bertocco de Paiva Haddad, Rossana Pulcinelli Francisco, Luiz Augusto Carneiro D’Albuquerque, Edmund Chada Baracat.