Current Concepts

  • Olivier Thaunat
  • Emmanuel Morelon


The concept of limb transplantation depicted by Fra Angelico in one of his most famous retable, the healing miracle of Cosmas and Damian, as early as the fifteenth century, is one of the oldest models of transplantation in humans. This artistic testimony demonstrates that a long time ago, the prodigious potential that composite tissue allotransplantation might bring to tissue reconstructive surgery had been anticipated. At present, limb transplantation cannot be regarded as a surgical challenge because advances in microsurgical techniques have allowed since the early 1960s routine replantations of whole limbs to be performed after traumatic amputations [1]. Thus, hand transplantation can neither be regarded as a new concept nor surgically unattainable. Nevertheless, clinical achievement of hand transplantation is fairly recent, suggesting that the real hurdle preventing the development of hand transplantation is, rather, immunologic.


Composite Tissue Donor Bone Marrow Cell Limb Transplantation Passenger Leukocyte Composite Allograft 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olivier Thaunat
    • 1
  • Emmanuel Morelon
    • 2
  1. 1.National Institute of Health and Medical Research Institute for Biomedical Research “Les Cordeliers”Pierre and Marie Curie UniversityParisFrance
  2. 2.Department of Immunology and Renal TransplantationÉdouard Herriot Hospital Claude Bernard Lyon 1 UniversityLyonFrance

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