Based on a study of 752 French patients who underwent either lung or heart-lung transplantation, investigators revealed a close relationship between graft ischemic time and long-term survival after single or double lung transplantation. (Graft ischemic time was defined as the interval between the application of the aortic cross clamp during donor organ removal and the reperfusion (restoration of blood flow) in the graft of the recipient.) According to the authors, a cutoff time of 330 minutes was found to best discriminate between long-term survivors and nonsurvivors. The median time for the entire group in the transplant study was 240 minutes. Results were unaffected by the organ preservation fluid used. The investigators believe that expected graft ischemic time should be incorporated into the decision-making process at the time of graft acceptance. The investigators note that the effect of graft ischemic time on the relative risk of death seemed to peak in the first year after transplantation, and to wear off quickly thereafter. During the study period, from January 1987 to December 1998, patient survival at the seven French transplantation centers which were involved in the study ran 84.2 percent at day 30, 63.3 percent at 1 year, 45.9 percent at 3 years, and 38.1 percent at 5 years. The research study appears in the first issue for April 2005 of the American Thoracic Society's peer-reviewed American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
100 YEARS OF PROGRESS IN TUBERCULOSIS TREATMENT
Over the past century, the use of anti-tuberculosis drugs has changed tuberculosis from a disease with a 50 percent mortality rate, which was treated by collapsing the affected lung and rest in a sanitarium, to a condition successfully cured by use of chemotherapy. The initial key step in the development of modern chemotherapy for tuberculosis was the demonstration in clinic
Contact: Cathy Carlomagno
American Thoracic Society