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New Hope Found for Dangerous Heart Infection

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It is unclear, the investigators write, whether OKT3 by itself or in combinations with the other medications is required to produce the best response.

"Up until now, we haven't had much success with other treatments," Alejos says. "In some cases, patients get through with just supportive care, and in a lot of cases, they have to go on a heart lung machine." Alejos says that heart transplants are an option for some patients, but their revved up immune systems often go on to attack the new heart.

All of these treatments have the potential to do harm to patients, but none of these drugs are harmless, Rossi points out, which is why more research is needed before the treatment can be routinely used.

The researchers agree and currently are putting together a larger study. "With only five patients in three years, it's just not enough to know if it's a real trend or just good luck," Alejos says.

 

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