Lung transplantation generally leads to good long-term results in patients with cystic fibrosis, according to research carried out in the UK.
Dr. Anthony De Soyza, of the University of Newcastle and colleagues, reviewed data on 176 patients who had undergone transplantation at their institution.
Their findings, reported in the August issue of Thorax, revealed that Pulmonary function (FEV1 percent predicted) improved from a median of 21% pretransplantation to 78% after 1 year. Survival was 82% at 1 year, 62% at 5 years and 51% at 10 years.
Thirty-five of 69 known causes of death (51%) were obliterative bronchiolitis.
Infection caused a further 18 deaths (26%), and infections due to Burkholderia cepacia complex were the cause of 7 of these deaths.
Among survivors, 74% were free of bronchiolitis obliterans at 5 years and 38% at 10 years.
"The study results," concluded Dr. De Soyza, "demonstrate that cystic fibrosis patients undergoing lung transplantation have excellent long-term survival results after the operation. Major work is however still required to increase donor numbers, and also to reduce the long-term side effects of anti-rejection drugs.
“The number of patients who die waiting for organs is around 40% to 50%, dependent on country."