Featuring: Ankit Bharat, MBBS
The first 30 consecutive patients who underwent a lung transplant due to COVID-19 complications at Chicago-based Northwestern Medicine had positive outcomes, according to findings recently published in JAMA.
The study, published Jan. 27, compared the outcomes among the first 30 COVID-19 lung transplant patients at Northwestern to those of 72 patients who needed a lung transplant for other reasons, such as chronic end-stage lung disease.
None of the COVID-19 patients developed lung rejection and all were alive at the time the JAMA article was written, according to a Feb. 2 news release.
"This study proves lung transplantation is highly effective and successful in critically-ill COVID-19 patients," said Ankit Bharat, MD, study author and chief of thoracic surgery at Northwestern Medicine. "We were especially surprised to find that patients with COVID-19 did not develop rejection of the lungs after transplant."
Still, lung transplant procedures are much more difficult and carry more risks for COVID-19 patients, researchers said, adding that transplant centers should be selective when considering who the best candidates for such procedures are.
Northwestern Medicine surgeons in June 2020 completed the nation's first lung transplant on a COVID-19 patient.
This article was originally published in Becker's Hospital Review on February 3, 2022 .
Ankit Bharat, MBBS, is the chief of Thoracic Surgery in the Department of Surgery, Harold L. and Margaret N. Method Research Professor of Surgery and associate professor of Surgery (Thoracic Surgery) and Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care). Dr. Bharat specializes in malignant and benign chest and esophageal diseases. His research focuses on lung preservation, transplant immunology and airway biology, achieved through collaboration with the Kovler Comprehensive Transplant Center and the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.
Northwestern Medicine welcomes the opportunity to partner with you in caring for your patients.