The baboon liver of a man who lived for 71 days after the world's first animal-to-human liver transplant showed no sign of failure in an autopsy, doctors said Tuesday.
"In this case, the liver went through the whole process functioning instead of being ruined as was the case before," said Dr. Thomas Starzl, chief of the Pittsburgh Medical Center's Transplantation Institute."This one emerged at the other end of the tunnel in very good condition."
The 35-year-old man, who was not identified at his request, died Sunday as doctors tried to wean him from a respirator.
The autopsy revealed only one abnormality in the transplanted liver: a buildup of bile, Dr. Anthony Demetris, director of transplant pathology, said at a news conference.
Pinpointing the cause of death may take another two weeks.