Orthotopic liver transplantation in the making
Within the field of liver transplantation the concepts of warm liver transplants and hepatocyte transplantation are currently under investigation. Although such novel research efforts are intricate and complex, the concept of human liver transplantation posed quite a challenge itself in the not so distant past. The development of the orthotopic liver transplant relied on numerous individuals and novel approaches of the time. Success resulted following cumulative developments in early experiments when Thomas Earl Starzl performed the first human liver transplantation 50 years ago in 1963. This article highlights key developments in the lead up to such an attempt, details of the procedure itself and biographies of three key leaders; Alexis Carrel, Peter Medawar, and Thomas Starzl.
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