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Lancet Respir Med ; 9(5): 487-497, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1537196


BACKGROUND: Lung transplantation is a life-saving treatment for patients with end-stage lung disease; however, it is infrequently considered for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) attributable to infectious causes. We aimed to describe the course of disease and early post-transplantation outcomes in critically ill patients with COVID-19 who failed to show lung recovery despite optimal medical management and were deemed to be at imminent risk of dying due to pulmonary complications. METHODS: We established a multi-institutional case series that included the first consecutive transplants for severe COVID-19-associated ARDS known to us in the USA, Italy, Austria, and India. De-identified data from participating centres-including information relating to patient demographics and pre-COVID-19 characteristics, pretransplantation disease course, perioperative challenges, pathology of explanted lungs, and post-transplantation outcomes-were collected by Northwestern University (Chicago, IL, USA) and analysed. FINDINGS: Between May 1 and Sept 30, 2020, 12 patients with COVID-19-associated ARDS underwent bilateral lung transplantation at six high-volume transplant centres in the USA (eight recipients at three centres), Italy (two recipients at one centre), Austria (one recipient), and India (one recipient). The median age of recipients was 48 years (IQR 41-51); three of the 12 patients were female. Chest imaging before transplantation showed severe lung damage that did not improve despite prolonged mechanical ventilation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The lung transplant procedure was technically challenging, with severe pleural adhesions, hilar lymphadenopathy, and increased intraoperative transfusion requirements. Pathology of the explanted lungs showed extensive, ongoing acute lung injury with features of lung fibrosis. There was no recurrence of SARS-CoV-2 in the allografts. All patients with COVID-19 could be weaned off extracorporeal support and showed short-term survival similar to that of transplant recipients without COVID-19. INTERPRETATION: The findings from our report show that lung transplantation is the only option for survival in some patients with severe, unresolving COVID-19-associated ARDS, and that the procedure can be done successfully, with good early post-transplantation outcomes, in carefully selected patients. FUNDING: National Institutes of Health. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

COVID-19 , Critical Illness/therapy , Lung Transplantation/methods , Lung , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Blood Transfusion/methods , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/surgery , Critical Care/methods , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation/methods , Female , Humans , Intraoperative Care/methods , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care , Pulmonary Fibrosis/etiology , Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Respiration, Artificial/methods , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/surgery , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
JCI Insight ; 6(18)2021 09 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435141


Cell lines are the mainstay in understanding the biology of COVID-19 infection but do not recapitulate many of the complexities of human infection. The use of human lung tissue is one solution for the study of such novel respiratory pathogens. We hypothesized that a cryopreserved bank of human lung tissue would allow for the ex vivo study of the interindividual heterogeneity of host response to SARS-CoV-2, thus providing a bridge between studies with cell lines and studies in animal models. We generated a cryobank of tissues from 21 donors, many of whom had clinical risk factors for severe COVID-19. Cryopreserved tissues preserved 90% cell viability and contained heterogenous populations of metabolically active epithelial, endothelial, and immune cell subsets of the human lung. Samples were readily infected with HCoV-OC43 and SARS-CoV-2 and demonstrated comparable susceptibility to infection. In contrast, we observed a marked donor-dependent heterogeneity in the expression of IL6, CXCL8, and IFNB1 in response to SARS-CoV-2. Treatment of tissues with dexamethasone and the experimental drug N-hydroxycytidine suppressed viral growth in all samples, whereas chloroquine and remdesivir had no detectable effect. Metformin and sirolimus, molecules with predicted but unproven antiviral activity, each suppressed viral replication in tissues from a subset of donors. In summary, we developed a system for the ex vivo study of human SARS-CoV-2 infection using primary human lung tissue from a library of donor tissues. This model may be useful for drug screening and for understanding basic mechanisms of COVID-19 pathogenesis.

Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Interferons/therapeutic use , Lung/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Female , Humans , Lung/immunology , Male , Middle Aged
Cardiol Young ; 31(8): 1238-1240, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1397819


The growing unmet demand for suitable organ donors increases each year. Despite relative contraindications for thoracic organ donation after previous cardiac surgery, experienced programmes and surgeons can successfully utilise the lungs from select donors who have undergone prior cardiac surgery. This is the first reported case of double lung en bloc procurement from a donor who had a previous arterial switch operation as an infant.

Arterial Switch Operation , Cardiac Surgical Procedures , Lung Transplantation , Tissue and Organ Procurement , Humans , Infant , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/surgery , Tissue Donors