Valencia hospital performs first liver-cell transplant
La Fe de Valencia University Hospital on Wednesday becomes the first medical centre in the country to perform a cell transplant from a healthy liver.22 May 2008
VALENCIA - La Fe de Valencia University Hospital made history Wednesday by becoming the first medical centre in the country to perform a cell transplant from a healthy liver.
"Throughout the world close to 25 of these types of [liver-cell] transplants have been performed," said Manuel Cervera, head of La Fe de Valencia University Hospital operation unit of the operation, which was carried out on a 12-year-old girl.
Medical sources said that cell-liver transplants of this kind could in the future help patients who are waiting for liver transplants but who have not yet found donors.
The girl, who was inflicted with a disorder that affects one in every 15,000 born in Spain, causes a malfunction of the urea cycle.
Since the girl's liver does not function correctly, it produces an unhealthy level of toxins that can be harmful to her nervous system, or send her into a coma. The cell transplant will now enable the patient's liver to produce enough enzymes to keep toxin levels in check.
Since this type of a transplant is less complicated than when using an organ, medical experts believe that liver-cell transplants are not only cheaper to perform, but less risky for the patients.
[El Pais / Expatica]