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Lung Transplant Research

Duke is a world-leader in lung transplant research. We have led numerous multicenter and single studies that have contributed to advancing patient care.

Researchers in the Duke Lung Transplant Program have authored or coauthored more than 100 peer-reviewed research publications, and edited several books or special journal issues devoted to transplantation.

Researchers at Duke are working to develop new and highly effective therapies to improve and extend the lives of lung transplant patients.

Gastric Reflux and Post-transplant Lung Function

Discoveries from the laboratory of Shu Lin, MD, are revealing the clinical and basic mechanisms by which gastric reflux impairs post-transplant lung function.

These researchers lead research that has identified gastric reflux as a potential contributing factor to post-transplant lung allograft dysfunction and suggested that Nissen fundoplication surgery may help prevent the development of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS), a form of chronic rejection that is unique to lung transplantation.

Prevention of Post-transplant Infection

Chronic rejection is the most important factor limiting long-term survival after lung transplant. Approximately 50 percent of lung transplant patients will develop this condition within five years of transplant.

Duke researchers are developing and testing innovative strategies to prevent cytomegalovirus after lung transplantation. Researchers in the Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery have collaborated with Scott Palmer, MD, Department of Medicine, in conducting a placebo-controlled, randomized, multicenter, clinical trial designed by Dr. Palmer to determine the best CMV prophylaxis regimen.

The trial results demonstrated that extending CMV valganciclovir prophylaxis to twelve months was shown to safely and effectively reduce the incidence of CMV infection. As a result, most Duke lung transplant recipients now receive at least one year of valganciclovir prophylaxis, an approach that might lead to improved long-term survival.