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Rejection in Lung Transplants Due to Elevated Pepsin Level

reflux per se, but rather act to cut down on acidic reflux, the researchers noted. They also noted, that in addition to the damage that might be done to the new lung by acid reflux, pepsin is not targeted by these drugs and may be a separate cause of lung injury.

The researchers reported that the disease control groupthose with normal lung function, but unexplained coughdid not have pepsin in their lungs, even when 10 of 17 were diagnosed during the study as having gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). A diagnosis of GERD does not mean that patients are refluxing out of the esophagus and hence aspirating, they explained. Even if the refluxate reaches the upper airway, it is almost certainly cleared by a hyperactive cough reflex.

In their article, the researchers note ongoing studies being done at Duke University that appear to show lung transplant patients who undergo fundoplication, a surgical procedure that strengthens the valve between the stomach and the esophagus, before the transplant have longer survival rates and delayed onset of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome than those who do not.

If fundoplication is confirmed as a useful prophylaxis in preventing lung rejection, they write, markers of aspiration may contribute to identifying patients who might derive clinical benefit.




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