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Study finds good outcomes for older lung transplant patients
Date:2/4/2008

were more likely to receive single-lung transplants (76 percent, compared with 16 percent for the younger group) and to receive nonstandard lungs (46 percent, compared with 28 percent). Nonstandard lungs are those considered "less than perfect" but still acceptable for transplantation.

The study's findings suggest that the increased mortality rate among older patients during the period from one month to one year following transplantation due predominantly to infection may result from immunosenescence, the gradual deterioration of the immune system with age.

"This finding warrants adjustments in the immunosuppresion protocols for older patients," said lead author Dr. Raja Mahidhara, UCLA assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery. "In addition, future studies should look at the effects of lung transplantation in older recipients on the donor pool and on other, younger patients on the waiting list."

Tumanello, now 66, suffered from emphysema for more than nine years before receiving a single-lung transplant at UCLA in March 2007. Since then, she said, she has felt wonderful and has been enjoying the freedom to go anywhere and do anything she wants. Married, with three grown children and five grandchildren, Tumanello says she is grateful every day for the generous gift she received and is committed to taking care of her new lung.

"I think everyone should be given a chance," she said.


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Contact: Amy Albin
aalbin@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-8672
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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