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Cardiac Transplantation— A Current Appraisal

John H. Kennedy, MD
JAMA. 1968;203(10):892-893. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140100074025.
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To the Editor:—  The recent technical achievement of five short-term successful human cardiac homotransplants by Barnard1 in Cape Town, Republic of South Africa, by Kantrowitz in New York, and by Shumway in Palo Alto, Calif, culminated over seven years of experimental work by several laboratories. Lower and Shumway2 in 1960 reported survival of dogs 6 to 21 days after orthotopic cardiac homotransplantation. With the addition of immuno-suppressive therapy (methotrexate), Blumenstock3 was able to extend survival under the same circumstances to 42 days. Kondo et al4 in 1965 reported survival of one of 40 puppies for 112 days after orthotopic cardiac homotransplantation without immuno-suppressive therapy. This animal is still alive.Thus, at best, cardiac transplantation represents clinical application of a method of treatment tested in the experimental laboratory to the one group of patients for whom contemporary cardiac surgery has little to offer—those with bad myocardium. At


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