The newborn was first transplanted with stem cells to restore the liver. The operation was carried out by scientists from the National Center for Child Health and Development, a description of the work is given by NHK.
The child who participated in the experiment was born in 2019 and suffered from a violation of the urea cycle. The reason for this is a failure in the metabolism of proteins in the liver, which leads to the accumulation of ammonia and further intoxication of the body – even death.
Scientists already know a way to treat such disorders – this requires a liver transplant. However, such an operation can only be carried out if the patient is already three years old.
In a new work, researchers tested an alternative treatment for the disease that can be applied to patients under three years of age. Scientists transplanted stem cells into the liver of a newborn, whose age at that time was six weeks, and weight – a little more than 190 grams.
Having taken root in the body, stem cells were able to successfully restore the work of the internal organ to break down ammonia. Thanks to this, the child’s condition returned to normal; in March 2020, he successfully underwent a full-fledged liver transplant operation.