First uterus transplant in Italy, born as a child in Catania

Alessandra was born at the Cannizzaro hospital in Catania, daughter of the woman who received the first uterus transplant in Italy. “This is the first birth of this type in our country and the sixth case in the world of pregnancy successfully completed after a transplant of the uterus from a deceased donor” underlines a note from the National Transplant Center (Cnt). “Alessandra’s mother, now 31 years old, was born without a uterus due to a congenital pathology, Rokitansky syndrome – recalls the note from the National Transplant Center – The transplant was carried out in August 2020 in full pandemic at the Center transplants of the University Hospital Policlinico di Catania by a multidisciplinary team composed of professors Pierfrancesco Veroux, Paolo Scollo, Massimiliano Veroux and Giuseppe Scibilia, as part of an experimental program coordinated by the National Transplant Center. team of Paolo Scollo at the department directed by him of Obstetrics and gynecology of the Cannizzaro hospital, a complex clinical operating unit of the Kore University of Enna. At Cannizzaro the patient and her husband then began the process of homologous assisted fertilization, thanks to oocytes collected and stored, before surgery, in the biobank for the preservation of the the fertility of the hospital itself “. “It was an extremely complex transplant – says Pierfrancesco Veroux, full professor of vascular surgery and transplants at the University of Catania – which presented from the beginning the technical difficulties that limit its extensive use in the world. In this case the uterus, since the declamping of the vessels, has shown a great vitality which has then allowed, thanks to an optimal perfusion, to ‘live’ in the patient and to carry out a very expected pregnancy to term. Over the past two years, the transplant center I directed has followed the future mother on a weekly basis in order to monitor the clinical conditions and modulate immunosuppressive therapy, especially in the delicate final phase conditioned by Covid. The transplanted uterus, at the time of the birth of ‘our’ little Alessandra, confirmed its full functionality, giving hope for the future. “” The birth of this baby is an extraordinary result – comments the director of the National Transplant Center Massimo Cardillo – This experimentation is still in its infancy, especially as regards interventions from deceased donors, which are only 20% of the already few uterus transplants carried out so far in the world. A successful pregnancy just two years after the first transplant is from a scientific point of view, a success for the Italian transplant network: first of all for all the professionals of the Cannizzaro hospital and of the Policlinico of Catania who are conducting the experimentation and who have followed the patient’s path from the beginning, and then for the Center regional Sicilian and for the national coordination who worked on finding the organ “. “Little Alessandra today represents for women born without a uterus a concrete hope of being able to lead a pregnancy and is yet another testimony of how transplant medicine and organ donation are a value to be promoted more and more”, concludes Cardillo .