Lung transplants not harmful for children with cystic fibrosis

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Washington, Apr 1 : Refuting previous findings, a new research has reported that lung transplants are not harmful for children with cystic fibrosis.

The new study comes after a previous research, led by Dr Theodore G. Liou, of the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, concluded that lung transplants are dangerous for children with cystic fibrosis.

Dr Thomas M. Egan, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the lead author of the current study, systematically rejected Dr Liou's findings, saying that the research was seriously flawed by misinterpreted statistics.

"Dr. Liou, et al. are accomplished statisticians and honourable academicians. But sometimes statistics do not tell the truth," said Dr Egan.

Using covariates obtained up to three years before actual transplantation and when predicted survival was good, the calculated hazard ratios Liou's study put forth were based on obsolete information that did not reflect true benefit on a patient-by-patient basis at the time of actual transplant, contended Egan and Stuart C. Sweet, M.D. of Washington University, St. Louis.

They also conflicted findings from other sources, in which survival rates for pediatric CF lung transplant recipients were substantially higher.

"Because uncritical acceptance of the study results by third party payers, referring physicians, and lung transplant centres could place children with cystic fibrosis who would likely benefit from lung transplants at risk, we appreciate Pediatric Transplantation providing this opportunity to rapidly publish an independent critique of the article," said Dr. Sweet.

The two rebuttals are published in the journal Pediatric Transplantation.

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