6 Treatment of infected lungs by ex vivo perfusion with high dose antibiotics and autotransplantation: A pilot study in pigs

Zinne N1, Krueger M1, Hoeltig D2, Tuemmler B3,4, Boyle EC1, Biancosino C1, Hoeffler K1, Braubach P4,5, Rajab TK6, Ciubotaru A1, Rohde J7, Waldmann KH2, Haverich A1,4PLoS One. 2018 Mar 5;13(3):e0193168. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0193168. eCollection 2018.

The emergence of multi-drug resistant bacteria threatens to end the era of antibiotics. Drug resistant bacteria have evolved mechanisms to overcome antibiotics at therapeutic doses and further dose increases are not possible due to systemic toxicity. Here we present a pilot study of ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) with high dose antibiotic therapy followed by autotransplantation as a new therapy of last resort for otherwise incurable multidrug resistant lung infections. Severe Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia was induced in the lower left lungs (LLL) of 18 Mini-Lewe pigs. Animals in the control group (n = 6) did not receive colistin. Animals in the conventional treatment group (n = 6) received intravenous application of 2 mg/kg body weight colistin daily. Animals in the EVLP group (n = 6) had their LLL explanted and perfused ex vivo with a perfusion solution containing 200 μg/ml colistin. After two hours of ex vivo treatment, autotransplantation of the LLL was performed. All animals were followed for 4 days following the initiation of treatment. In the control and conventional treatment groups, the infection-related mortality rate after five days was 66.7%. In the EVLP group, there was one infection-related mortality and one procedure-related mortality, for an overall mortality rate of 33.3%. Moreover, the clinical symptoms of infection were less severe in the EVLP group than the other groups. Ex vivo lung perfusion with very high dose antibiotics presents a new therapeutic option of last resort for otherwise incurable multidrug resistant pneumonia without toxic side effects on other organs.

PMID: 29505574 PMCID: PMC5837087 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0193168 [Indexed for MEDLINE]