Lung Function Predicts Outcome of Stem Cell Transplant

Low test score linked to raised risk of respiratory failure, death, study found

FRIDAY, Aug. 5, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- A lung function test can help predict the prognosis for stem cell transplantation patients, U.S. researchers report in the August issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

The study of 2,852 patients found that a low score on a FEV1 lung function test before stem cell transplantation was a significant risk factor for development of early respiratory failure and death. FEV1, which stands for forced expiratory volume in one-second, measures the volume of air expelled in the first second of maximal forced expiration from a position of full inspiration. A low score would be considered less than 70 percent of predicted age-adjusted value.

All the patients in the study received allogenic transplants, which means the stem cells came from another person with matching tissue type.

"Our current study confirms that compromised pre-transplant lung function is a significant risk factor for the development of early respiratory failure and mortality after allogenic stem cell transplantation," Dr. Jason W. Chien, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, said in a prepared statement.

"This is largely because pulmonary function tests provide a sensitive but nonspecific measure of the patient's pre-transplant physiologic state and co-morbid illnesses, which can significantly impact a patient's mortality risk after stem cell transplantation," Chien explained.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about stem cells.

SOURCE: American Thoracic Society, news release, Aug. 1, 2005
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