Italian doctors have saved the life of a 16-month-old boy by implanting the world's smallest artificial heart to keep the infant alive until a donor was found for a transplant.
The doctors at Rome's Bambino Gesu hospital said the operation was carried out last month and made public this week. The baby, whose identity has not been disclosed, was kept alive for 13 days before the transplant and is now doing well.
The baby was suffering from dilated myocardiopathy, a heart muscle disease which normally causes stretched or enlarged fibers of the heart. The disease gradually makes the heart weaker, stopping its ability to pump blood effectively.