New biomarkers of infection in transplanted patients help to improve their prognosis

29 de August de 2017

Studies developed at the University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla help to detect early infection in these patients.

Despite the significant progress made in recent years, lung transplantation is a solid organ transplant that has the shortest life expectancy. In part this fact is due to complications that occur in the first postoperative days of the transplant. Infection and primary graft dysfunction are the most common and devastating complications; Two entities with very similar presentation forms and sometimes difficult to differentiate, but which have different treatment forms. In the case of infections, an early diagnosis and treatment are essential to achieve a satisfactory evolution and resolution.

The University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla is currently one of the referents of our country in lung transplantation as shown by the fact that it has been among the Hospitals that more patients have transplanted in the last years and with better results. For this, the multidisciplinary work in which specialists from different areas collaborate, among them specialists in Pneumology, Thoracic Surgery and Intensive Medicine, is essential.

In this field, the Intensive Care Service of the Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla has recently published a study that brings important knowledge in this regard. The work, in which all hospitals that perform lung transplantation in our country have participated, has evaluated the usefulness of blood markers in the early detection of infections and in the differentiation of these with other entities. The results, which have been published in the prestigious journal Plos One of free access, show the usefulness of procalcitonin (a protein present in the blood) as a method to diagnose the existence of an infectious process in the immediate postoperative period of lung transplantation . The quantification of this protein could help to select those patients who are developing an infection, optimizing its treatment and controlling the infectious process in very early stages before it affects the patient's prognosis.

The work has been directed by Dr. Borja Suberviola, physician of the Intensive Care Service of the HUMV. The Valdecilla Hospital Intensive Care Unit has extensive experience in the care and treatment of patients with lung transplantation. Thus, it takes more than 20 years to attend the immediate postoperative period. Dr. Suberviola belongs to the group of Epidemiology and pathogenic mechanisms of infectious diseases of the Research Institute ( IDIVAL ) and carries out his research work in the field of Infection in the critical patient.

Reference: 1: Suberviola B, Rellan L, Riera J, Iranzo R, Garcia Campos A, Robles JC, Vicente R, Miñambres E, Santibanez M. Role of biomarkers in early infectious complications after lung transplantation. PLoS One. 2017 Jul 13;12(7):e0180202.