The purpose of this article is to review the historical background and clinical status of composite tissue allotransplantation and to discuss the scientific evolution of clinical face transplantation. Composite tissue allotransplantation (CTA) rapidly progressed in the 1980s with the discovery of cyclosporine. Although the most success has been achieved with hand transplantation, others have made progress with allografts of trachea, peripheral nerve, flexor tendon apparatus, vascularized knee, larynx, abdominal wall, and most recently, partial face. The world's first partial face allotransplantation occurred in November 2005 in France. In April of 2006, there was a second performed in China. As of today, there are now multiple institutions with plans to attempt the world's first full facial/scalp transplant. Complete facial/scalp allotransplantation offers a viable alternative for unfortunate individuals suffering severe facial disfigurement and is a product of many decades of experimental research, beginning with rat hindlimb allografts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas