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Lung Transplants in Cystic Fibrosis Patients With Life-Threatening Bacteria Sparks Debate at ISHLT Meeting
Date:4/11/2008

BOSTON, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- During Wednesday's Satellite Symposium 3: The Challenges of Lung Transplantation in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) at the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions, clinicians and researchers discussed some of the unique challenges in achieving excellent lung transplant outcomes in patients with CF.

A highlight of the session was the concluding debate: Burkholderia Cenocepacia is an Absolute Contradiction to Transplantation between Duane Davis, MD, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC and Redha R. Souilemas, MD, European Georges Pompidou Hospital, Paris.

Cystic Fibrosis, Burkholderia Cenocepacia and Lung Transplantation

Patients with life threatening lung disease due to CF have a lot to gain by lung transplantation. Compared to other possible indications for transplant, patients with CF have, in general, the best outcomes, and a successful transplant can mean a significant increase in lifespan and a huge improvement in quality of life.

A hallmark of advanced CF lung disease is repeated severe chest infections. In most cases these infections are responsive to treatment with powerful antibiotics and their presence does not influence the outcomes after transplant in CF patients.

However in 5 percent of patients with CF, bacteria called Burkholderia cenocepacia infects the lungs before transplant. This infection is very resistant to antibiotics and if it returns after the transplant surgery it is extremely difficult to control and can be life threatening.

It is estimated that less than only 30 percent of patients with Burkholderia cenocepacia who receive lung transplants survive beyond five years with many dying very early after transplant due to recurrence of the severe infection with this bacteria. In comparison, CF patients without this infection can expect 5-year post-transplant survival of up to 70 percent on average. The debate w
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SOURCE International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation
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