Doctors Perform First Heart-Liver-Kidney Transplant

From Associated Press

A 26-year-old woman underwent what doctors said was the world’s first heart-liver-kidney transplant Sunday.

Cindy Martin of Archbald was listed in critical condition Sunday night, considered normal after a transplant operation, said Lisa Rossi, a spokeswoman for University-Presbyterian Hospital.

The operation began at 7:35 p.m. Saturday and ended at 5 p.m. Sunday, Rossi said.

Although multiple-organ transplants have been done before, this was the first involving the heart, liver and a kidney, said transplant pioneer Dr. Thomas Starzl, director of the University of Pittsburgh’s transplant program.


The surgery was the second heart transplant for the patient, who has familial cardiomyopathy, an inherited heart disease, hospital officials said.

Since her first transplant three years ago, Martin had suffered from chronic rejection of the heart and developed hepatitis and kidney dysfunction.

Kidney dysfunction is a side effect sometimes present in patients taking the anti-rejection drug cyclosporine.

The world’s first heart-liver transplant was performed on Stormie Jones, 12, of White Settlement, Tex. Starzl conducted that procedure on Feb. 14, 1984, at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Two other heart-liver transplants were performed the next year in Pittsburgh, but both patients died within a few days of surgery.

Multiple-organ transplants also have been performed on adults with malignant inoperable tumors in the pancreas and liver areas.


In those cases, surgeons have removed the patient’s liver, pancreas, most or all of the stomach, two-thirds of the colon, and the duodenum, a 10-inch-long section of the small intestine. The cavity has been filled with a block of organs consisting of the liver, pancreas, duodenum and jejunum, a few feet of section of the small intestine.