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Concept: Cystic fibrosis


BACKGROUND: Preoperative extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a risk factor for poor outcome and currently considered a contraindication to lung transplantation. The lung allocation score system was introduced in May 2005 and prioritizes lung allocation to those with the greatest respiratory impairment. The purpose of this study is to determine whether ECMO as a bridge to lung transplantation is an acceptable option to support those in respiratory failure until donor lungs become available in the lung allocation score era. METHOD: A retrospective review of 715 consecutive lung transplants performed between May 2005 and September 2011 was conducted using a prospectively collected institutional registry database. Twenty-four lung transplants (3.4%) were performed in the 31 patients with attempted pretransplant ECMO; 7 patients who received ECMO patients did not survive or were deemed unfit for transplantation. These patients were compared with a control group of 691 patients who did not receive pretransplant ECMO. RESULTS: The duration of pretransplant ECMO was 171 ± 242 hours (median, 91 hours). Venovenous ECMO was used for respiratory failure in 15 patients, whereas venoarterial ECMO was used for circulatory collapse due to pulmonary hypertension in 9 patients. Patients in the retransplant ECMO group were younger (46 ± 15 years vs 57 ± 14 years, P < .01) compared with the control group, with no difference in recipient gender (male/female: 10/14 vs 380/311), donor age (33 ± 14 years vs 36 ± 15 years), or donor gender (male/female: 10/14 vs 352/339). Emphysema was less common (1, 4% vs 260, 38%, P < .01), and cystic fibrosis (5, 21% vs 72, 10%, P = .09), redo lung transplant (3, 13% vs 28, 4%, P = .08), and bronchiectasis (2, 8% vs 6, 1%, P = .03) were more common in the pretransplant ECMO group. Patients in the pretransplant ECMO group had a significantly higher lung allocation score (87 ± 9 vs 44 ± 15, P < .01). All patients in the pretransplant ECMO group underwent double lung transplants on pump (cardiopulmonary bypass/ECMO), and single lung transplants were performed in 171 patients (25%) and pump was used in 243 patients (35%) in the control group. The cardiopulmonary bypass time was longer in the pretransplant ECMO group (277 ± 69 minutes vs 225 ± 89 minutes, P = .02), with no difference in ischemic time (343 ± 93 minutes vs 330 ± 98 minutes, P = .54). Cadaveric lobar lung transplants were performed because of the urgency to overcome size mismatch with an oversized donor more frequently in 25% (n = 6, no mortality with the longest follow-up at 6 years) of patients in the pretransplant ECMO group versus 0.3% (n = 2) of patients in the control group (P < .01). Post-transplant ECMO was used for primary graft dysfunction in 13 patients (54%) in the pretransplant ECMO group and 41 patients (6%) in the control group (P < .01). The median hospital stay was 46 days in the pretransplant ECMO group versus 27 days in the control group (P = .16). The actuarial survivals after lung transplants at 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months were 96%, 88%, 83%, 74%, and 74%, respectively, in the pretransplant ECMO group, and 97%, 94%, 90%, 83%, and 74%, respectively, in the control group (P = .787). CONCLUSIONS: Although the incidence of primary graft dysfunction requiring post-transplant ECMO is higher and the hospital stay is longer in patients receiving pretransplant ECMO, the graft survival is good (2-year survival, 74%). ECMO is efficacious as a bridge to lung transplantation with good post-lung transplant outcomes.

Concepts: Pulmonology, Cystic fibrosis, Organ transplant, Pulmonary hypertension, Lung transplantation, Extracorporeal, Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, Lung allocation score


BACKGROUND: The clinical course of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is usually measured using the percent predicted FEV1 and BMI Z-score referenced against a healthy population, since achieving normality is the ultimate goal of CF care. Referencing against age and sex matched CF peers may provide valuable information for patients and for comparison between CF centers or populations. Here, we used a large database of European CF patients to compute CF specific reference equations for FEV1 and BMI, derived CF-specific percentile charts and compared these European data to their nearest international equivalents. METHODS: 34859 FEV1 and 40947 BMI observations were used to compute European CF specific percentiles. Quantile regression was applied to raw measurements as a function of sex, age and height. Results were compared with the North American equivalent for FEV1 and with the WHO 2007 normative values for BMI. RESULTS: FEV1 and BMI percentiles illustrated the large variability between CF patients receiving the best current care. The European CF specific percentiles for FEV1 were significantly different from those in the USA from an earlier era, with higher lung function in Europe. The CF specific percentiles for BMI declined relative to the WHO standard in older children. Lung function and BMI were similar in the two largest contributing European Countries (France and Germany). CONCLUSION: The CF specific percentile approach applied to FEV1 and BMI allows referencing patients with respect to their peers. These data allow peer to peer and population comparisons in CF patients.

Concepts: Median, Quantile, Cystic fibrosis, Peer-to-peer, Quartile, Reference, Percentile rank, File sharing


The Nanoduct(®) device has acceptable diagnostic accuracy, but there is not enough systematic data supporting its usage in the diagnosis of cystic fibrosis (CF).

Concepts: Oxygen, Pulmonology, Blood, Medical terms, Cystic fibrosis, Arterial blood gas, Electrolyte, Blood test


The blue-green phenazine, Pyocyanin (PYO), is a well-known virulence factor produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, notably during cystic fibrosis lung infections. It is toxic to both eukaryotic and bacterial cells and several mechanisms, including the induction of oxidative stress, have been postulated. However, the mechanism of PYO toxicity under the physiological conditions of oxygen limitation that are encountered by P. aeruginosa and by target organisms in vivo remains unclear. In this study, wild-type and mutant strains of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae were used as an effective eukaryotic model to determine the toxicity of PYO (100-500 μmol/L) under key growth conditions. Under respiro-fermentative conditions (with glucose as substrate), WT strains and certain H2 O2 -hypersensitive strains showed a low-toxic response to PYO. Under respiratory conditions (with glycerol as substrate) all the strains tested were significantly more sensitive to PYO. Four antioxidants were tested but only N-acetylcysteine was capable of partially counteracting PYO toxicity. PYO did not appear to affect short-term respiratory O2 uptake, but it did seem to interfere with cyanide-poisoned mitochondria through a complex III-dependent mechanism. Therefore, a combination of oxidative stress and respiration disturbance could partly explain aerobic PYO toxicity. Surprisingly, the toxic effects of PYO were more significant under anaerobic conditions. More pronounced effects were observed in several strains including a ‘petite’ strain lacking mitochondrial DNA, strains with increased or decreased levels of ABC transporters, and strains deficient in DNA damage repair. Therefore, even though PYO is toxic for actively respiring cells, O2 may indirectly protect the cells from the higher anaerobic-linked toxicity of PYO. The increased sensitivity to PYO under anaerobic conditions is not unique to S. cerevisiae and was also observed in another yeast, Candida albicans.

Concepts: DNA, Bacteria, Mitochondrion, Fungus, Cellular respiration, Yeast, Cystic fibrosis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae


Perspiration-based wearable biosensors facilitate continuous monitoring of individuals' health states with real-time and molecular-level insight. The inherent inaccessibility of sweat in sedentary individuals in large volume (≥10 µL) for on-demand and in situ analysis has limited our ability to capitalize on this noninvasive and rich source of information. A wearable and miniaturized iontophoresis interface is an excellent solution to overcome this barrier. The iontophoresis process involves delivery of stimulating agonists to the sweat glands with the aid of an electrical current. The challenge remains in devising an iontophoresis interface that can extract sufficient amount of sweat for robust sensing, without electrode corrosion and burning/causing discomfort in subjects. Here, we overcame this challenge through realizing an electrochemically enhanced iontophoresis interface, integrated in a wearable sweat analysis platform. This interface can be programmed to induce sweat with various secretion profiles for real-time analysis, a capability which can be exploited to advance our knowledge of the sweat gland physiology and the secretion process. To demonstrate the clinical value of our platform, human subject studies were performed in the context of the cystic fibrosis diagnosis and preliminary investigation of the blood/sweat glucose correlation. With our platform, we detected the elevated sweat electrolyte content of cystic fibrosis patients compared with that of healthy control subjects. Furthermore, our results indicate that oral glucose consumption in the fasting state is followed by increased glucose levels in both sweat and blood. Our solution opens the possibility for a broad range of noninvasive diagnostic and general population health monitoring applications.

Concepts: Health, Electrochemistry, Cystic fibrosis, Gland, Exocrine gland, Glands, Exocrine system, Sweat gland


Of the 2007 Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) mutations, 202 have been assigned disease liability. California’s racially diverse population, along with CFTR sequencing as part of newborn screening model, provides the opportunity to examine the phenotypes of children with uncategorized mutations to help inform disease liability and penetrance.

Concepts: Cancer, Cystic fibrosis, Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, The Opportunity, Newborn screening, Sweat test, ΔF508, Congenital absence of the vas deferens


This review provides the reader with the up-to-date evidence-based basis for prescribing exercise as medicine in the treatment of 26 different diseases: psychiatric diseases (depression, anxiety, stress, schizophrenia); neurological diseases (dementia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis); metabolic diseases (obesity, hyperlipidemia, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome, type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes); cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, coronary heart disease, heart failure, cerebral apoplexy, and claudication intermittent); pulmonary diseases (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, cystic fibrosis); musculo-skeletal disorders (osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, rheumatoid arthritis); and cancer. The effect of exercise therapy on disease pathogenesis and symptoms are given and the possible mechanisms of action are discussed. We have interpreted the scientific literature and for each disease, we provide the reader with our best advice regarding the optimal type and dose for prescription of exercise.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Medicine, Hypertension, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Cystic fibrosis, Aging-associated diseases


With an increase in cases of multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, alternative and adjunct treatments are needed, leading to renewed interest in bacteriophage therapy. There have been few clinically relevant studies of phage therapy against chronic lung infections. Using a novel murine model that uses a natural respiratory inhalation route of infection, we show that phage therapy is an effective treatment against chronic P. aeruginosa lung infections. We also show efficacy against P. aeruginosa in a biofilm-associated cystic fibrosis lung-like environment. These studies demonstrate the potential for phage therapy in the treatment of established and recalcitrant chronic respiratory tract infections.

Concepts: Immune system, Bacteria, Opportunistic infection, Therapy, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Cystic fibrosis, Bacteriophage, Phage therapy


The single-span membrane protein KCNE3 modulates a variety of voltage-gated ion channels in diverse biological contexts. In epithelial cells, KCNE3 regulates the function of the KCNQ1 potassium ion (K(+)) channel to enable K(+) recycling coupled to transepithelial chloride ion (Cl(-)) secretion, a physiologically critical cellular transport process in various organs and whose malfunction causes diseases, such as cystic fibrosis (CF), cholera, and pulmonary edema. Structural, computational, biochemical, and electrophysiological studies lead to an atomically explicit integrative structural model of the KCNE3-KCNQ1 complex that explains how KCNE3 induces the constitutive activation of KCNQ1 channel activity, a crucial component in K(+) recycling. Central to this mechanism are direct interactions of KCNE3 residues at both ends of its transmembrane domain with residues on the intra- and extracellular ends of the KCNQ1 voltage-sensing domain S4 helix. These interactions appear to stabilize the activated “up” state configuration of S4, a prerequisite for full opening of the KCNQ1 channel gate. In addition, the integrative structural model was used to guide electrophysiological studies that illuminate the molecular basis for how estrogen exacerbates CF lung disease in female patients, a phenomenon known as the “CF gender gap.”

Concepts: Protein, Cell membrane, Action potential, Ion channel, Voltage-gated ion channel, Cystic fibrosis, Ion, Voltage-gated potassium channel


In 2011, the median age of survival of patients with cystic fibrosis reported in the United States was 36.8 years, compared with 48.5 years in Canada. Direct comparison of survival estimates between national registries is challenging because of inherent differences in methodologies used, data processing techniques, and ascertainment bias.

Concepts: Cohort study, United States, Cystic fibrosis, United Kingdom, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Canada, Bias