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November 3, 1962

Research Continues in 'Spare Heart' Replacement

JAMA. 1962;182(5):56. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050440108041

Research advances pointing toward the day then diseased or malfunctioning human hearts may be replaced by "spares" stored in heart banks were reported by Oregon scientists.

Seeking a method for long-term preservation that would still permit hearts to start beating again after transplantation, investigators from the University of Oregon Medical School in Portland said they had used chemical agents to lower the freezing points of hearts taken from young dogs to well below 0 degrees Centigrade. After storage at below-zero temperatures,the hearts were transplanted to the necks of adult dogs where they began to beat normally again, in some cases for as long as seven hours.

In another paper, scientists from the St. Louis University School of Medicine reported removing and then replacing the heart in 50 dogs, and of finding that the nerve pathways severed during the operation were spontaneously re-established