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Heart Transplantation And Mechanical Circulatory Support In The Congenital Heart Patients

Alistair Phillips
Published 2017 · Medicine

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Congenital heart surgery was once believed to be uncorrectable, until the operation pioneered by Vivian Thomas and first performed in humans by Alfred Blalock, MD, on a patient of Helen Tausig, MD, showed that “blue babies could be helped” (Blalock and Taussig 1984). C. Walton Lillehei, MD, using cross circulation, then performed the first bypass procedures in 1955, when the advent of open heart surgery began (Warden et al. 1954). Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first heart transplant in 1967 (he trained under Dr. Lillehei at the University of Minnesota). Immunosuppression as we know it today began with the work of Drs. George Hitchings and Gertrude Elion with the development of 57–322 or Imuran (Hitchings and Elion 1985). Long-term heart allograft survival was not accomplished until the introduction of cyclosporine in the 1980s.
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