Novel approaches in uterus transplantation

Curr Opin Organ Transplant. 2020 Dec;25(6):584-593. doi: 10.1097/MOT.0000000000000817.

Abstract

Purpose of review: Uterus transplantation (UTx) is the first existing infertility treatment for women with no uterus and for women with a present nonfunctional uterus, which is unable to carry a pregnancy. This type of transplantation is a novel addition within the field of vascularized composite allografts and is the first ephemeral kind of transplantation, with the graft intended for only a restricted number of years, until the desired numbers of children have been born and with subsequent graft removal. The proof-of-concept of UTx, as an infertility treatment for women with uterine factor infertility, came with the report of the first live birth after UTx, occurring in Sweden in 2014. This UTx live birth has been followed by around 30 births, taking place in four continents. Despite the initial clinical success, UTx should still be regarded as an experimental procedure, at a developmental phase. The clinical UTx activities at several centers around the globe take place within scientific clinical trials and aim to advance UTx further. This review describes certain developmental areas around UTx. These relate to surgery, donor selection, assisted reproduction, and inclusion of new recipient groups.

Recent findings: Successful UTx procedures, with live births, have been reported both after live and deceased donor transplantation. There exist developments in the areas of robotic surgery for live donor hysterectomy, of alternate vascular connections to the graft, modifications of inclusion criteria/investigations of donors, assisted reproduction in conjunction with UTx, as well as discussions concerning expanding the pool of eligible recipients.

Summary: Uterus transplantation has repeatedly proven to be a feasible infertility treatment for women with absolute uterine factor infertility. Ongoing studies aim to increase safety and efficiency of the procedure as well as to better define suitable donors and recipients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Uterus / transplantation*