To the Editor.
—The article by Madrazo et al1 represents an analysis of seven patients who underwent embryonic nigral and adrenal transplants for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. We note that donor neuronal tissue used for this study was derived from spontaneous abortions. There are several problems associated with the use of tissue obtained from spontaneous as opposed to elective abortion for use in neural grafting. These include the following:1. Chromosomal abnormalities are present in 20% to 50% of cases of spontaneous abortion.22. Infectious agents that are associated with spontaneous abortions may increase the risk of a transplant-related infection.33. There is an increased likelihood of bacterial contamination in donor material obtained at the time of spontaneous abortion due to the direct passage of the fetus through the vaginal canal. In elective abortions there is a high likelihood that tissue can be procured steriley.4,5
Freeman TB, Olanow GW. Fetal Homotransplants in the Treatment of Parkinson's Disease. Arch Neurol. 1991;48(9):900–901. doi:10.1001/archneur.1991.00530210026015
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