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Under the microscope: chronic allograft dysfunction

What is chronic allograft dysfunction (CLAD)?

A range of pathologies that cause a transplanted lung to not achieve or maintain normal function. CLAD manifests as airflow restriction or obstruction.

Why are we covering it here?

An electronic “nose” is capable of detecting CLAD with 86% accuracy, according to research presented at the virtual European Respiratory Society International Congress.

Tell me more.

Nynke Wijbenga, a technical physician from the Netherlands, told the congress that the finding could enable doctors to spot at an early stage when a lung transplant is failing, so that they could provide treatments to prevent it getting worse. However, more research needs to be carried out.

How long does it take to diagnose CLAD at present?

It can take several months. Doctors test lung function at a number of visits and measure it against the best peak lung function achieved after the transplant. Chronic rejection can only be confirmed after these investigations and if the decline in lung function persists for three months.

How does the eNose work?

When patients breathe out into the eNose, the sensors detect the pattern of volatile organic compounds in the breath and also correct the results to take account of the ambient air that has been inhaled. The results are analysed using machine learning algorithms and the “breathprint” can be used to identify several lung diseases.

Can I find out more?

Yep, visit the conference website at

Image credit | iStock


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