Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

After A Lung Transplant, Patients May Suffer Dangerous Blood Ammonia Levels

Date:
February 15, 2000
Source:
The Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia
Summary:
A small percentage of patients who receive lung transplantation develop a deadly increase of blood ammonia levels, according to a collaborative study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE -- February 14, 2000, 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time Philadelphia, Pa. -- A small percentage of patients who receive lung transplantation develop a deadly increase of blood ammonia levels, according to a collaborative study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. A report on the findings will appear in the February 15 issue of The Annals of Internal Medicine.

The researchers studied 145 consecutive adult patients who received lung transplantation over a five-year period at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. Six of the 145 patients, or 4 percent, developed high levels of blood ammonia, called hyperammonemia. Of those six patients with hyperammonemia, four, or 67 percent, died within 30 days of the surgery, compared to deaths in 24 (or 17 percent) of the 139 patients with normal levels of blood ammonia. A fifth patient with hyperammonemia died 34 days after the surgery. In all five cases, death was preceded by coma and increased pressure in the brain.

The only lung transplant patient with hyperammonemia who survived had her condition recognized early and received hemodialysis and medications to lower her blood ammonia level. "This one case does not prove that this therapy will benefit all patients with this post-transplant complication, but it does suggest a useful area for further study," said Gerard T. Berry, M.D., an endocrinologist and geneticist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and senior author of the study.

The number of lung transplantations nationwide increased rapidly during the 1990s, for conditions such as emphysema, cystic fibrosis and other pulmonary diseases. Among the lung transplant recipients in the study sample who developed hyperammonemia, the researchers identified certain risk factors: major gastrointestinal complications (such as intestinal bleeding, intestinal perforation or infection), the need for feeding through an intravenous line (total parenteral nutrition), and high pressure in the arteries leading to the lungs (primary pulmonary hypertension). Another possible risk factor is deficiency in a liver enzyme, called glutamine synthetase, which plays a role in ammonia metabolism.

"Further studies are needed to characterize the causes and possible treatments of hyperammonemia after lung transplantation," said Gary R. Lichtenstein, M.D., a member of the Gastroenterology Division of the Department of Medicine and Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and lead author of the paper. "In the meantime, physicians need to be aware of this potential complication of lung transplantation."

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the nation's first children's hospital, is a leader in patient care, education and research. This 373-bed multispecialty hospital provides comprehensive pediatric services, including home care, to children from before birth through age 19. The hospital is second in the United States among all children's hospitals in total research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The University of Pennsylvania Medical Center's sponsored research and training ranks second in the United States based on grant support from the National Institutes of Health, the primary funder of biomedical research and training in the nation -- $238 million in federal fiscal year 1999.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia. "After A Lung Transplant, Patients May Suffer Dangerous Blood Ammonia Levels." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 February 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000214112147.htm>.
The Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia. (2000, February 15). After A Lung Transplant, Patients May Suffer Dangerous Blood Ammonia Levels. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000214112147.htm
The Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia. "After A Lung Transplant, Patients May Suffer Dangerous Blood Ammonia Levels." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000214112147.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins