Research award for Munich lung biologist

ECMO therapy with artificial lung helps patients with transplanted donor lung
Nicole Strobl

At the 2019 annual meeting of thoracic surgeons from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Nicole Strobl was awarded a special prize: The biologist at the University of Munich (LMU) in Großhadern received the research prize of the Thoracic Surgery Congress. She works in the group of DZL-PI PD Dr. Gerhard Preissler and examines a promising therapy: Extracorporal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

The ECMO is a mini lung machine that works outside the body and takes over the vital gas exchange instead of the lungs. It is used in the most severe lung injuries, but also preoperatively, before lung transplants ("bridge to transplant"). Nicole Strobl examined in an observational study, which positive consequences this preoperative use has for the patient. She found that after transplantation, ECMO greatly reduces rejection of donor lungs and significantly improves patient survival. The conclusion: Especially in patients who are likely to have a strong rejection reaction of the immune system, the use of ECMO before surgery should be considered.