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Volume: 17 Issue: 5 October 2019


Response to “Hand Transplantation: Current Status and Immunologic Obstacles”

Dear Editor:

I read the article “Hand Transplantation: Current Status and Immunologic Obstacles” by Park and colleagues1 with great interest. The authors state that, after the second unilateral hand transplant had been performed by an international team of surgeons on September 23, 1998, in Lyon, France, a number of hand transplant programs were launched in the United States, Belgium, Poland, Turkey, China, Australia, the United Kingdom, Iran, Mexico, and Taiwan. They forgot, however, to mention that the world’s second bilateral hand transplant was performed on March 7, 2000, only 8 weeks after the Lyon group had reported their first bilateral transplant, and thus long before the procedures performed by most of the countries listed in the article, by a team from Innsbruck, Austria.2

In all modesty, in this context, it would be appropriate to mention also that the world’s first bilateral forearm transplant was carried out by the same team3 in Innsbruck on February 17, 2003. All 4 grafts are still in place without any signs of chronic rejection and continue to show excellent function.4

Altogether, 3 double hand, 1 double forearm, and 1 unilateral hand transplant have so far been performed at the Innsbruck University Hospital.4


  1. Park SH, Eun SC, Kwon ST. Hand transplantation: current status and immunologic obstacles. Exp Clin Transplant. 2019;17(1):97-104.
    CrossRef - PubMed
  2. Margreiter R, Brandacher G, Ninkovic M, Steurer W, Kreczy, Schneeberger S. A double-hand transplant can be worth the effort! Transplantation. 2002;74(1):85-90.
    CrossRef - PubMed
  3. Schneeberger S, Ninkovic M, Gabl M, et al. First forearm transplantation: outcome at 3 years. Am J Transplant. 2007;7(7):1753-1762.
    CrossRef - PubMed
  4. Hautz T, Engelhardt TO, Weissenbacher A, et al. World experience after more than a decade on clinical hand transplantation: update on the Innsbruck program. Hand Clin. 2011;27(4):423-431.
    CrossRef - PubMed

Volume : 17
Issue : 5
Pages : 706 - 706
DOI : 10.6002/ect.2019.0202


From the Department of Visceral, Transplant and Thoracic Surgery, Innsbruck, Austria
Acknowledgements: The author has no sources of funding for this study and no conflicts of interest to declare.
Corresponding author: Raimund Margreiter, Department of Visceral, Transplant and Thoracic Surgery, Anichstr. 35, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Phone: +43 664 1601980