A surgeon has used stem cell technology to cure a girl.
Surgeon and Professor Michael Olausson was able to create a new connection with the aid of a blood vessel between the liver and the intestines, necessary to cure the girl.
The girl developed during her first year of life a blood clot in the blood vessel that leads blood from the intestines to the liver.
This introduced the risk that she would experience life-threatening internal bleeding. The condition can be cured if it is possible to direct the blood along the correct path, back into the liver.
In optimal cases, the surgery can be performed using blood vessels from other parts of the patient”s body, but a liver transplant may be necessary if the surgery is unsuccessful due to a lack of sufficient blood vessels. A liver transplant will involve subsequent lifelong treatment with immunosuppressive drugs.
Blood vessels from a dead donor were used in the present case. The vessel was then chemically treated to remove all cells RNA and DNA. This left just the supporting tissue. Stem cells were then obtained from the girl”s bone marrow and these were added to the supporting tissue. A new blood vessel grew in just under four weeks. This was used during the surgery in order to create the new connection between the liver and the intestines, necessary to cure the girl.
“We carried out the surgery over three months ago now, and the result was very good, with no serious complications. To our knowledge this is the first procedure of this type in the world, said Michael Olausson at the Transplant Centre, Sahlgrenska University Hospital and professor at the Sahlgrenska Academy.
“The girl is in good health, and we believe that her prognosis is very good. Since the vessel was created with the girl”s own stem cells, she does not need to take drugs to prevent rejection”, added Olausson.
The procedure shows that it is possible to create new blood vessels from stem cells, using a previous blood vessel as a template. This can lead to the condition that the girl suffered from being treated more easily, and with less risk for the patient.