Table 1

 Keynote moments of the development of the brain death concept and transplants during the 20th century, in different periods, are comparatively presented

TransplantsBrain death concept
CNS, central nervous system; ICP, intracranial pressure.
1902 First renal autotransplant1902 Reports of increased ICP provoking respiratory arrest with preserved heart beat
1902–50 1902–50
1906 First xenotransplant in humans1929 Berger discovers the EEG
1933 First kidney transplant from a cadaveric donor, without success1930 Crile proposes a definition of death as a drop in electric potentials
1938 EEG is used to show loss of brain potentials after ischaemia
1939 Crafoord proposes that death in animals is due to the cessation of cerebral blood flow
1950–9 1950–9
1954 First successful kidney transplant between identical twins1956 Cerebral circulatory arrest is demonstrated in comatose patients by angiography
1959 Death of the nervous system coma dépassé
1960–8 1960–8
1962 First successful kidney transplant from a cadaveric donor
1963 Fist successful liver and lung transplants from cadaveric donors1963 First organ transplant using a brain-dead donor Schwab proposes to use the EEG for demonstrating death of the CNS
1966 First successful pancreas transplant from a cadaveric donor
1968 First successful heart transplant between humans1968 Harvard Report and Sydney Declaration