Historical Review of Solid Organ Transplantation

  • Bernard J. DuBrayEmail author
  • Ronald W. Busuttil


One of the most remarkable achievements in modern medicine has been the ability to replace the failing organs of one individual with those from another. Over the last 60 years, solid organ transplantation has evolved from an experimental concept to a standard of care with increasing clinical efficacy. The collaborative effort across multiple disciplines brought transplantation from the laboratory into hospitals where it has transformed the lives of thousands. Today over 100,000 individuals await a lifesaving organ transplant with an ever-widening gap between the supply of suitable organs and demand for them. While the field works to address these challenges, it is important to recognize the pioneers who have led the journey.


  1. 1.
    Linden, P. K. (2009). History of solid organ transplantation and organ donation. Critical Care Clinics, 25(1), 165–184.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Friedman, S. G. Credit where due. Journal of Vascular Surgery. [Internet]. (2016). Available from: .
  3. 3.
    Dangoor, J. Y., Hakim, D. N., Singh, R. P., & Hakim, N. S. (2015). Transplantation: A brief history. Experimental and Clinical Transplantation, 13(1), 1–5.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Carrel, A. Anastomose bout a bout de la jugulaire et de la carotide primitive. Lyon Med. 1902;99:114.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Carrel, A., & Guthrie, C. C. (1906). Results of a replantation of the thigh. Science, 23(584), 393–394.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Carrel, A. (1907). Heterotransplantation of blood vessels preserved in cold storage. The Journal of Experimental Medicine, 9(2), 226–228.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Morris, P. J. (2004). Transplantation — A medical miracle of the 20th century. The New England Journal of Medicine, 351(26), 2678–2680.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Starzl, T. E. (1998). Surgery: Art or science? Birth of organ transplantation. Chirurgie, 123(3), 225–228.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gibson, T., & Medawar, P. B. (1943). The fate of skin homografts in man. Journal of Anatomy, 77(Pt 4), 299–310.4.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Medawar, P. B. (1944). The behaviour and fate of skin autografts and skin homografts in rabbits: A report to the War Wounds Committee of the Medical Research Council. Journal of Anatomy, 78(Pt 5), 176–199.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Cannon, J. A., & Longmire, W. P., Jr. (1952). Studies of successful skin homografts in the chicken; description of a method of grafting and its application as a technic of investigation. Annals of Surgery, 135(1), 60–68.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Watson, C. J. E., & Dark, J. H. (2012). Organ transplantation: Historical perspective and current practice. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 108(Suppl 1), i29–i42.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Murray, J. E., Merrill, J. P., Harrison, J. H., Wilson, R. E., & Dammin, G. J. (1963). Prolonged survival of human-kidney homografts by immunosuppressive drug therapy. The New England Journal of Medicine, 268, 1315–1323.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Starzl, T. E. (1994). The early days of transplantation. JAMA, 272(21), 1705–1705.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Goodwin, W. E., Kaufman, J. J., Mims, M. M., et al. (1963). Human renal transplantation. I. Clinical experiences with six cases of renal homotransplantation. The Journal of Urology, 89, 13–24.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Starzl, T. E., Marchioro, T. L., & Waddell, W. R. (1963). The reversal of rejection in human renal homografts with subsequent development of homograft tolerance. Surgery, Gynecology & Obstetrics, 117, 385–395.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hill, R. B., Dahrling, B. E., Starzl, T. E., & David, R. (1967). Death after transplantation. The American Journal of Medicine, 42(3), 327–334.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Starzl, T. E., Marchioro, T. L., Hermann, G., Brittain, R. S., & Waddell, W. R. (1963). Renal homografts in patients with major donor-recipient blood group incompatibilities. Surgical Forum, 14, 214–216.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Terasaki, P. I., & McClelland, J. D. (1964). Microdroplet assay of human serum cytotoxins. Nature, 204(4962), 998–1000.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Starzl, T. E. (2015). History of liver and other splanchnic organ transplantation. In Doria, Cataldo (ed.), Contemporary liver transplantation (pp. 1–28). Springer publishers.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Starzl, T. E., Noriko, M., Amadeo, M., & Fung, J. J. (2005). History of liver and multivisceral transplantation. In Transplantation of the liver (pp. 3–22). Elsevior publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Busuttil, R. W., De Carlis, L. G., Mihaylov, P. V., Gridelli, B., Fassati, L. R., & Starzl, T. E. (2012). The first report of orthotopic liver transplantation in the western world. American Journal of Transplantation, 12(6), 1385–1387.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Starzl, T. E., Porter, K. A., Francavilla, J. A., Benichou, J., & Putnam, C. W. (1977). A hundred years of the hepatotrophic controversy. Ciba Foundation Symposium, 55, 111–129.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Starlz, T. E., Kaupp, H. A., Jr., Brock, D. R., Lazarus, R. E., & Johnson, R. V. (1960). Reconstructive problems in canine liver homotransplantation with special reference to the postoperative role of hepatic venous flow. Surgery, Gynecology & Obstetrics, 111, 733–743.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Starzl, T. E., Marchioro, T. L., Vonkaulla, K. N., Hermann, G., Brittain, R. S., & Waddell, W. R. (1963). Homotransplantation of the liver in humans. Surgery, Gynecology & Obstetrics, 117, 659–676.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Zarrinpar, A., Ali, Z., & Busuttil, R. W. (2013). Liver transplantation: Past, present and future. Nature Reviews. Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 10(7), 434–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Starzl, T. E. (1963). Renal transplantation in identical twins. Archives of Surgery, 86(4), 600.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Starzl, T. E., Hakala, T. R., Shaw, B. W., Jr., et al. (1984). A flexible procedure for multiple cadaveric organ procurement. Surgery, Gynecology & Obstetrics, 158(3), 223–230.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Robertson, J. A. (1999). The dead donor rule. The Hastings Center Report, 29(6), 6–14.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    A definition of irreversible coma. (1968). Report of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Harvard Medical School to examine the definition of brain death. JAMA, 205(6), 337–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Bismuth, H., & Houssin, D. (1984). Reduced-sized orthotopic liver graft in hepatic transplantation in children. Surgery, 95(3), 367–370.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Raia, S., Nery, J. R., & Mies, S. (1989). Liver transplantation from live donors. Lancet, 2(8661), 497.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Strong, R. W., Lynch, S. V., Ong, T. H., Matsunami, H., Koido, Y., & Balderson, G. A. (1990). Successful liver transplantation from a living donor to her son. The New England Journal of Medicine, 322(21), 1505–1507.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Hashikura, Y., Yasuhiko, H., Masatoshi, M., et al. (1994). Successful living-related partial liver transplantation to an adult patient. Lancet, 343(8907), 1233–1234.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Lo, C. M., Fan, S. T., Liu, C. L., et al. (1997). Adult-to-adult living donor liver transplantation using extended right lobe grafts. Annals of surgery, 226(3), 261–9; discussion 269–70.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Liver and Pancreas Transplantation, Department of SurgeryDavid Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations