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LEAD: Rare transplant of small intestine ends in Osaka.

OSAKA, March 27 Kyodo


Doctors finished transplanting part of a woman's small intestine into her teenage grandson late Monday at Osaka University Hospital, the fourth operation of its kind performed in Japan.

The doctors transplanted a section of small intestine measuring 1-1.5 meters from the grandmother, who is in her 50s, to her grandson, who suffers from a congenital digestive-tract disorder, said Akira Okada, one of the surgeons involved in the operation.

The operation ended at 7:34 p.m., he said, adding both the woman and the boy are in stable conditions.

The doctors started the operation shortly after 9:30 a.m. Monday. They finished surgery on the grandmother at 2:45 p.m., and the transplant of the small intestine went without trouble, said Okada, a professor of the hospital's Division of Pediatric Surgery.

The boy has atrophied microvilli in part of his small intestine, preventing him from absorbing adequate amounts of water and nutrients. His growth has been hindered by diarrhea caused by the disorder, he said.

The boy, who is from Osaka, needed the transplant as he has developed septicemia and liver problems, he said.

The conditions developed as a result of intravenous feeding the boy had undergone because he was seriously dehydrated, Okada said.

According to doctors, transplants of part of a living donor's small intestine are rare internationally. Only 13 such transplants had been performed overseas as of last October, while more than 400 small-intestine transplants from brain-dead donors have been conducted in the United States and Europe.

In Japan, three similar transplants were performed at Kyoto University Hospital in 1996, 1998 and January this year.

Two doctors at the Kyoto hospital advised the Osaka doctors during Monday's operation, Okada said.

Transplants of the small intestine are known to cause serious rejection problems in recipients.

The recipient in the May 1996 transplant at the Kyoto hospital developed strong rejection symptoms following the surgery and died 16 months later. The second and third recipients are still being treated in the hospital.
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Comment:LEAD: Rare transplant of small intestine ends in Osaka.
Publication:Japan Science Scan
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Apr 3, 2000
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