Groundbreaking Discovery: Lung Transplant Patients To Receive Skin Graft Patches.

A groundbreaking trial called Sentinel is set to test whether grafting a small patch of skin from a lung donor onto a transplant patient can help doctors detect early signs of rejection. Over a hundred patients will participate in the multi-year trial, which aims to use skin patches to provide an early warning of organ rejection. The procedure involves inserting a 10cm by 3cm patch under the patient’s forearm skin during lung transplantation. The patches not only help identify rejection but also assist in determining when to reduce immunosuppressant drugs. The trial is being conducted by the Surgical Trials Unit at the University of Oxford in collaboration with NHS Blood and Transplant. The results could have significant implications for enhancing the success of organ transplants and the management of patients post-transplantation.

Fiona Ballantyne, a 56-year-old pulmonary arterial hypertension sufferer, has applied to join the trial. Earlier similar trials, including one in which Adam Alderson participated, have proven successful in identifying rejection and allowing for prompt treatment. Henk Giele, an associate professor of reconstructive and plastic surgery at Oxford University, explained that lungs are prone to rejection due to their exposure to outside air and their susceptibility to infection. Early detection of rejection is challenging as the symptoms resemble those of infection, but the treatments for each condition are different. This trial could revolutionize the transplant field, providing a non-invasive and efficient method of monitoring organ rejection.

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