New Targets for the Prevention of Chronic Rejection after Thoracic Organ Transplantation

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Abstract

The gold standard for the treatment of terminal heart failure and irreversible lung diseases includes thoracic organ transplantation. The major obstacle for long-term survival after successful transplantation is chronic rejection, an ongoing immunomodulatory disease so far without effective therapy. Therefore, the aim of this review is to elucidate scientific efforts targeting different new mechanisms of cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) and chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD). For this purpose, we performed a systematic review of the literature to assess recent strategies in transplant immunology research. We searched MEDLINE from 2015 up to date for articles addressing the following keywords: CAV, transplant vasculopathy, transplant arteriosclerosis, CLAD, bronchiolitis obliterans transplant, and obliterative bronchiolitis transplant. All articles including experimental models in the field of transplant immunology addressing new aspects for the prevention of chronic rejection after heart and lung transplantation were included in this review. The prevention of chronic rejection would clearly improve the survival of patients after heart and lung transplantation. Interesting targets were addressed in recent research, but further research is necessary to effectively treat this life-threatening disease in transplant recipients.

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