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After 10 years "rest," UK girl's heart works again
www.chinaview.cn 2006-04-18 08:19:39

    BEIJING, April 18 (Xinhuanet) -- A 12-year-old British heart transplant patient is "doing very well" after having her donor organ removed and her own heart restarted, Latimes.com reported Monday. 

    Doctors think it is the first case of someone getting a new heart and then switching back to the original one.

    About 10 years ago, Hannah Clark, 12, of South Wales had a heterotopic transplant operation - known as a "piggyback" because the donor heart is placed next to the original organ.

    It was an unusual operation because when doctors put the new heart in her body, they left her existing heart in place, even though the new one was doing all the work.

    Complications arose, however, after her body recently started reacting badly to the drugs she was taking to stop her body from rejecting the donor heart. Surgeons then made the decision to remove it.

    Surprisingly, doctors found that "actually her old heart was now working quite well," said a spokesman from London's Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.

    "So we removed the transplant heart, we were able to take her off the anti-rejection drugs and reconnected her old heart back up again and it worked. She's doing very well."

    He added: "We would be surprised if anybody came up with another case. Maybe it's a world first."

    Surgeons have thought for some time that "if a heart is failing because of acute inflammation, it might be able to recover if rested," said Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation. Enditem

    (Agencies)

Editor: Nie Peng
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