PITTSBURGH, Pa. — University of Pittsburgh doctors began the world's second transplant of a baboon liver into a human being Sunday night, hospital employees said.
The first such transplant was performed at the university last June 28. The recipient, an unidentified 35-year-old man, survived until Sept. 6, when he died of a stroke.
Members of the hospital's public relations staff declined to confirm or deny the operation was under way. But hospital employees who asked not to be identified said the operation was in progress Sunday night.
Doctors at the university had said they planned to attempt three more of the baboon liver transplant operations.
In a report published in Saturday's issue of the British medical journal The Lancet, the doctors said the first recipient died of an infection and not because his body rejected the transplanted organ.
Though animal rights activists have decried the use of baboons as a source of organs, University of Pittsburgh doctors have argued that using baboons organs could prove a lifesaving alternative for many of the patients who die while waiting for human organs to become available.