The theme of this article, along with many of the names of the authors should be familiar to readers – during my week with transplant surgeons down at Duke – I met with many of them to discuss gastroesophageal reflux and lung transplant (among other issues in transplant.)
Now Dr. Mathew Hartwig, along with Dr. Shu Lin, Dr. Duane Davis, Dr. Shekur Reddy along with several others in the department of lung surgery have published a study in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, entitled, “Fundoplication After Lung Transplantation Prevents Allograft Dysfunction” discussing the role of GERD in lung transplant tissue rejection, and how use of early fundoplication procedures prevented graft rejection. In this study, it appears that fundoplication procedures helped preserve post-transplant lung function (in patients with proven GERD on pH probe testing). This certainly suggests that GERD plays a role in lung tissue damage in patients with measurable acid reflux.
I emailed Dr. Hartwig earlier this week for his comments – and I’ll update this post soon.
I met the young, dynamic Dr. Hartwig down at Duke and we briefly discussed his work in this area (before I raced off with Dr. Lin to the operating room.) Dr. Hartwig has been conducting animal studies examining the tissue changes in lung tissue exposed to gastric acids. He has also been heavily involved in several other studies on GERD and lung transplant recipients.