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

ithin the transplant community is whether or not to allocate donor lungs to patients with Burkholderia cenocepacia knowing that the success rate is much worse than in CF patients without this infection.

According to Dr. Davis, lung transplants should not be performed on CF patients with Burkholderia cenocepacia until new research indicates a way to achieve better early results by better control of the infection. He went on to say new ways of treating patients with Burkholderia cenocepacia should be examined in clinical trials with a hypothesis, careful data collection and safety monitoring. Only after such research approaches have generated a clinical advance in treatment of this infection should lung transplants in CF patients with Burkholderia cenocepacia be performed in the same manner as those who do not have the disease.

Representing the counter argument, Dr. Souilemas said he believes it is very difficult to choose between two patients who need the same procedure. "Medicine is science and art," said Dr. Souilemas in the debate. During his argument, Dr. Souilemas also presented information on reversible factors other than the infection itself, which may contribute to the patients' poor health before receiving a lung transplant, and thus contribute to poor outcomes. Dr. Souilemas finished his debate by proposing that each patient be viewed as a potential lung transplant candidate and encouraged clinicians to attempt to transplant each as successfully as possible.

In the end, both physicians agreed that more careful research into transplants in CF patients with Burkholderia cenocepacia would improve success rates for these patients.

About ISHLT

The International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and treatment of end-stage heart and lung diseases. Created in 1981, the society now includes more than 3,000 members from more than 45 countri
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SOURCE International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation
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