The shortage of donor organs is a major barrier to clinical organ transplantation. Although xenotransplantation is considered one of the alternatives to human organ transplantation, there are immunologic and physiologic incompatibilities between humans and pigs. With the exception of coagulation, the major potential physiologic incompatibilities relating to function of the kidney, heart, liver, lungs, pancreatic islets, and hormones are reviewed. Some of these physiologic differences can be overcome by producing genetically altered pigs to improve compatibility with humans. The possibility of producing such pigs for organ transplantation is considered. © 2006 Blackwell Munksgaard.