Innovation

Lungs in a Box

Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is first in Texas to perform a breathing lung transplant


By Christine Hall | April 5, 2018

Silviano Trino sang this week for the first time in years.

His wife, Martha, described the moment: “He heard a song and said it reminded him of his mother, and he started singing.”

Trino had not spoken much over the past three years due to lung damage, but he sang just one day after being released from Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center—the same hospital where Trino underwent a double-lung transplant about two weeks ago.

Trino’s surgery made history: He is one of the first Texas recipients of lungs that were transplanted using the Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion (EVLP) procedure with the TransMedics Organ Care System Lung (OCS Lung) technology. The surgery was also one of the first in the country using this technology.

Transmedics Organ Care System Lung technology
TransMedics Organ Care System Lung technology

The OCS Lung machine is designed to keep donor lungs functioning and “breathing” in human-like conditions from the time of the donor procedure all the way to transplant surgery. The technology maintains the organ in its own physiologic state with warm blood perfusion, ventilation and a sophisticated monitoring system to continually assess the organ as it travels from donor to recipient.

This was life-changing for Trino and a groundbreaking procedure for the lung transplantation process, where organ rejection rates are high, according to cardiothoracic surgeon Gabriel Loor, surgical director of the lung transplant program at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and director of lung transplantation in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, and the surgeon who led the transplant. About 50 percent of rejections are caused by the immune system, while 30 percent are due to primary graft dysfunction—an acute lung injury encountered within the first 72 hours after a transplant.

“A trial using the Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion procedure showed that it was able to reduce the rate of primary graft dysfunction by half,” Loor said. “This means that organs being transported by this machine will be able to go longer distances and be better protected.”

Trino’s new lungs were transported from the Midwest to the Texas Medical Center and kept in the OCS Lung machine for 11 hours, Loor said. Prior to coming to Baylor St. Luke’s, the Trinos, who live in Miami, had gone to four other medical centers that perform a high volume of lung transplants, but were turned away due to Silviano’s health.

“His disease process is such that his lungs would not expand, so there was inflammation and damage,” Loor explained.

Gabriel Loor Silviano Trino lung transplant
Gabriel Loor, M.D., with Silviano and Martha Trino.

The OCS Lung System was officially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on March 23, 2018.

Trino said he was not skeptical about trying something new. Not only did this technology give him back his ability to sing, but it helped him feel better than he had in years. Thirty-six hours following the surgery, he was in his room recovering; 10 days later, he was out of the hospital.

“I’ve been sick for a long time,” Trino said. “I’m now doing things I didn’t realize I could do again.”

Baylor St. Luke’s has performed two other successful lung transplants using the technology. The surgeries were performed as part of the EXPAND II OCS trial, for which Baylor St. Luke’s is a study site, testing the outcomes of transplanted donor lungs that are transported, preserved, optimized and monitored on a portable OCS device.

Loor is the international principal investigator for the largest study in the country, evaluating the ability to increase the number of useable donor lungs using OCS technology.

Close to 100,000 people are waiting for life-saving organ donations in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. OCS Lung technology and similar technologies mean that transplants will no longer be limited by time and location, Loor said, thus expanding the available donor pool and providing more opportunities for patients waiting for organ donations.

“This is revolutionizing the way we do transplants,” Loor said. “The Texas Medical Center is one of a handful of centers doing this. With this technology, we can’t imagine going back to the standard method of organ transport.”




Social Posts

profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

Marine Vets who became fishing buddies attend Veteran’s Lake event https://t.co/urjZVlHYr2 via @starnewsmn

51 mins ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

@FixesGames We're so sorry to hear about your father. If you'd like to make an appointment, please call 1-877-632-6789 or complete our online self-referral form: https://t.co/7W1ZW5Ftoj. Best wishes to you.

2 hours ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

@HuggettLinda @FLAGALine We're thinking of you and your husband.

2 hours ago
profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

Five ways to make your healthcare job application stand out https://t.co/vBK8Ep0hZP via @vacareers #VAntagePoint

3 hours ago
profile_image

MD Anderson Cancer Center

@MDAndersonNews

“For the first time, we’re getting truly curative therapies in many kinds of disease,” says Dr. Jim Allison. #immunotherapy #endcancer https://t.co/jTDR11Wgxa

3 hours ago
profile_image

BCMHouston

@bcmhouston

It's back to the class for school districts across the Houston area. We have rounded up tips from some of our experts to help children and parents transition from summer to school. #BackToSchool https://t.co/xcCPwOUFq8

3 hours ago
profile_image

TexasHeartInstitute

@Texas_Heart

“Pig to human heart transplants 'possible within three years' Pioneer UK surgeon Sir Terence English says adapted organs could transform treatment” https://t.co/VAKjzUlbZz

4 hours ago
profile_image

UTHealth

@UTHealth

.@UTHealth ranks on @Forbes Best Employers national list: https://t.co/9u5dvdZkXO

4 hours ago
profile_image

Texas Children's

@TexasChildrens

For the second straight year, Texas Children's Pulmonology was ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report. Learn more: https://t.co/eFbNnpyHKm

5 hours ago
profile_image

Veterans Affairs

@DeptVetAffairs

Milwaukee Veteran receives Congressional Gold Medal for being one of the first African American Marines https://t.co/ga4iJ6SNao via @journalsentinel

5 hours ago
profile_image

University of Houston

@UHouston

RT @UHCougarFB: Camp is over. Season on tap.#GoCoogs https://t.co/ldk7enXFHQ

6 hours ago
profile_image

University of Houston

@UHouston

RT @uhparking: If you are on campus and looking for Visitor parking, don't forget all of the new visitor parking available in the new Garag…

6 hours ago
profile_image

University of Houston

@UHouston

RT @uhit: Who DOESN'T like #FreeStuff ??? Get ahead of those assignments and make sure to DL your #FREE copy of the Office 365 suite 😎 #Go…

6 hours ago
profile_image

Rice University

@RiceUniversity

RT @BranMart: If you ever want to know how much parents love their kids, just go to a college drop off ... 18 years of love showcased in se…

6 hours ago
profile_image

TAMU Health Sciences

@TAMHSC

RT @TAMUmedicine: Happy to announce that Amy Waer, MD, FACS, assumes the role of interim dean for the Texas A&M College of Medicine on Sept…

6 hours ago