Transplant Patients

A new technique to rehabilitate lungs that are too damage to consider for transplant which benefit an increasing population of patients with end-stage lung disease. About 80% of the already limit supply of donor lungs are too damage to be consider for transplantation, according to senior author Matthew Bacchetta, MD, MBA, MA, associate professor of Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Technique can maintain lungs

Bacchetta and colleagues from Columbia University publish a study in Nature Communications that demonstrates a cross-circulation technique can maintain lungs for 36 hours; so giving doctors time to rehabilitate the lungs and test new interventions. The regenerate lungs also met criteria for transplantation; which isn’t possible with current methods that provide doctors; which about six hours to assess the lungs and not enough time to rehabilitate them.

Our work has establish a new benchmark in organ recovery,” Bacchetta said. It has open up new pathways for translational applications and basic science exploration. They have literally spent years refining this technology to improve the recovery and regeneration of organs.

The new method also study for other damage organs such as hearts, kidneys and livers, they add. Bacchetta’s study focus on lungs injure by gastric aspiration, or the introduction of material from the stomach to the lungs; so because many lungs reject for transplant have gastric aspiration or a similar type of caustic injury.

Regenerate lungs in animal

His study method to regenerate lungs in animal models resulted in significantly improve lung function, cellular regeneration, and time to develop diagnostic tools for non-invasive organ evaluation and repair. As doctors refine the new technique, Bacchetta foresees expanding the 36-hour window to work on organs to days or even weeks; so allowing more time to not only rehabilitate organs but also explore new techniques of repairing them.
They were driven not just by the clinical need but also by a basic science need of being able; hence to create a system that provides durable physiologic support for the organ to regenerate,” Bacchetta said. Further study will be required to determine how well the rehabilitated lungs function, safety of the method; also how the lungs respond to immuno-suppressive drugs given after transplantation.
“Dr. Bacchetta and his colleagues achieve a critical advance that increase the number of organs available for transplant and realize the goal that no patient dies waiting for an organ,” said Seth Karp, MD, H. William Scott Jr. Professor and chair of the Section of Surgical Sciences.