Uterus transplantation

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The recent first live birth after human uterus transplantation (UTx) is a proof-of-concept of UTx as a factual treatment for women with absolute uterine factor infertility. This review summarizes the 15-year-long translational UTx research project, from the beginning in rodents until the first human UTx live birth in 2014. It also gives detailed information about the 11 human UTx cases performed so far.

Recent findings

The first live birth after UTx in any species was demonstrated already in 2003, in the syngeneic mouse model. Subsequent studies, in rats, large domestic species, and in nonhuman primates optimized the UTx procedure in regards to surgery, immunosuppression, rejection diagnosis, and pregnancy. Worldwide, only 11 human UTx attempts have been performed. The first two single cases were unsuccessful and performed with no research preparations. The following nine transplantations were completed within a clinical UTx trial in 2013. So far, four healthy babies have been born from this cohort and additional patients are pregnant.

Summary

Uterus transplantation, still at its early experimental stage, has the potential to become the first true treatment for the around 1.5 million women worldwide that are infertile because of absence of the uterus or presence of a nonfunctional uterus.

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