Liver cells successfully transplanted into baby for first time in Japan

Kyodo

The National Center for Child Health and Development in Tokyo said Friday it has successfully transplanted liver cells into a baby in a national first.

“We have safely conducted an operation that could develop into regenerative medicine using embryo-stem or induced pluripotent stem cells,” said NCCHD hospital chief Akira Matsui.

In the globally rare case, the center used surplus liver cells left frozen after 14 living liver transplantations it conducted in and after May 2011. The donors agreed to keep the liver cells frozen.

The baby boy, whose liver failed to function properly, underwent the transplant Aug. 10, when he was 11 days old, and on Aug. 13. He received cells that matched his blood type, the center said. Because of the transplant, the boy’s liver began to function properly.

The boy could be discharged from the hospital in a month and a half, the center said, adding it will keep track of his condition.