No Donner Needed for Heart Transplantation, but Leg's Tissue of Patient
Image: Grown heart muscle sheet (source: Osaka University's homepage)
A leg’s muscle tissue of a 66 yr male patient who has suffered from a heavy heart disease are grown into very thin sheets (having a diameter of about 5 cm) so that they are affixed to the heart of the patient.
The patient became the first applicant for the Pharmaceutical Early Approval Regime according to Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Act (established in November 2014).
On May 30, the muscle tissue of his leg was gathered from his leg. The tissue will be grown to heart muscle sheets in one to two months. The patient will undergo the surgery around the end of July.
The heart muscle sheet was developed by a team led by Professor Yoshiki Sawa at Osaka University, Japan in association with Terumo, a Japanese medical device manufacturer.
This heart surgery will be the first case covered by the Japanese National Health Insurance. The total fee including the heart surgery the patient has to pay may be as low as JP Yen 100,000 (around US$900) per month.