In what Julian Allen, MD, who holds the Robert Gerard Morse Endowed Chair in Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, calls a "startling" study, researchers from the University of Utah concluded that lung transplants in CF patients younger than 18 did not result in longer survival.
A previous study of adult CF patients by the same researchers found that the survival rate for patients who did not receive a transplant was 30% worse than for those who did.
In a commentary in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine, Allen wrote that physicians should not necessarily refer all pediatric CF patients for lung transplantations but must carefully consider the severity of the child’s illness ,and that CF centers must provide "appropriate social and psychological support" for potential lung transplant candidates and their families. He added that lung transplantation could improve the quality of life for CF patients, but the current study had only limited information on that question. Allen said that further studies should measure quality of life as well as compliance to post-transplant treatment.