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December 18, 1967


JAMA. 1967;202(12):23-36. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130250011003

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Details Of Heart Transplant Reported  The first clinical attempt to transplant the human heart brought one unanticipated difficulty, the discrepancy in size between the donor and recipient heart, Christian Barnard, MD, told JAMAMedical News in a transatlantic telephone interview.Dr. Barnard led the team of surgeons which on Dec 3 successfully transplanted the heart of a 24-year-old woman traffic accident victim into the body of a 55-year-old man in severe heart failure. The operation was performed at the Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa."The patient had a hypertrophied heart which was approximately twice the size of the donor heart," Dr. Barnard said.Roentgenographic examination two days after surgery showed that the donor heart had not increased in size nor had the enlarged pericardial cavity of the patient decreased in volume."We could see a slight side-to-side motion of the donor heart within the enlarged pericardial cavity