Researchers at University of Gothenburg and Shalgrenska University Hospital have successfully managed to transplant a major vein in a 10-year old girl with a new one grown from her own stem cells.
The report, published in the journal The Lancet, revealed that doctors took a vein from a dead man, removed all of its cells and then bathed it in stem cells from the girl.
The team was led by Professor Suchitra Sumitran-Holdgersson from University of Gothenburg who said that the hepatic portal vein, which transfers blood away from the gut and spleen to the liver, was blocked and instead of replacing the vein with sections of healthy vein from other parts of the body, the doctors decided to grow a new vein using stem cells from the girl's bone marrow.
"The new stem-cell derived graft resulted not only in good blood flow rates, but also in strikingly improved quality of life for the patient. The patient increased in height from 137 cm to 143 cm and increased in weight from 30 kg to 35 kg in the one year since the first operation", the doctors wrote in their report.