For patients who are highly sensitized or reactive to donor lung tissue, a novel approach with the use of well-tolerated and commonly available drugs has been developed by the Toronto Lung Transplant Program at Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network. The study involved the administration of these drugs only once the patient is in the operating room. Commonly, patients awaiting lung transplant are placed on immunosuppressants prior to transplant. However, the side effects of those drugs can place a highly sensitized patient at risk. The graft to survival rate after 5 years of 340 patients post lung transplant who underwent this study, resulted in no difference in survival rates, as well as no differences in infections, function, or rejection of the donor organ between the group with no antibodies and the group with the highest antibodies.
Tinckam KJ, Keshavjee S, Chaparro C, et al. Survival in sensitized lung transplant recipients With perioperative desensitization. American Journal of Transplantation. 2015; 15(2): 417-426. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/ajt.13076/