Shedding new light on double-lung transplants

January 27, 2014

In the largest retrospective study to date using data from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database for adult double-lung transplants, Temple University School of Medicine researchers have shown that there is no statistically significant difference between rejection and mortality rates among double-lung transplant recipients when their transplanted organs came from donors whose blood-type was identical or compatible to their own.

"The study confirms what most of us in the transplant surgical community have recognized for some time based on our clinical experience," said senior author Yoshiya Toyoda, MD, PhD, Vice Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Surgical Director Heart and Lung Transplantation at Temple University Hospital (TUH), in Philadelphia. Dr. Toyoda, who has performed more than 300 double-lung transplantations, also serves as Surgical Director of Mechanical Circulatory Support at TUH.

Toyoda and his colleagues found that the use of lungs from donors whose blood type was compatible, but not identical, to the recipient's was not associated with short- or long-term mortality and resulted in equivalent post-transplant lung function. "Using lungs from carefully selected blood-type compatible donors can result in excellent outcomes for double-lung transplant recipients," said Dr. Toyoda.

Dr. Toyoda noted that, given the scarcity of available organs, the ability of surgeons to expand the pool of potential donated organs to include lungs from compatible donors benefits patients awaiting organs.

Explore further: Study finds lungs from heavy smokers OK for transplant

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