Patient outcomes after lung transplant remain inferior to other types of solid organ transplantation. An interdisciplinary team at the University of Kentucky investigated whether the presence of potentially pathogenic bacteria (PPB) in donor lung bronchial cultures was associated with adverse outcomes postoperatively; the resulting publication appears in Transplant Infectious Disease. The authors include Dr. Omar Ahmad, Dr. Alexis E. Shafii, and Dr. Maher A. Baz of UK HealthCare and the UK College of Medicine; and Dr. David M. Mannino and Ms. Radmila Choate, of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health.
The investigative team retrospectively reviewed data from all patients who underwent lung transplantation between August 2015 and April 2017 at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Ky. Re-transplants, patients with bronchiectasis (including cystic fibrosis), and individuals who received organs from donation after cardiac death (DCD) donors were excluded. The remaining subjects were separated into two groups: individuals whose donor bronchial cultures grew PPB, and those whose cultures either returned negative for PPB or were sterile. 30‐day mortality rates as well as the incidence of grade 3 primary graft dysfunction (PGD) and acute kidney injury (AKI) at both 24 and 72 hours post‐transplant were calculated. The duration of mechanical ventilation postoperatively was also recorded.
Of the 32 subjects comprised the study population. 20 patients (63 percent) had growth of PPB on donor cultures, while 12 (37 percent) did not. Patients with PPB had a significantly greater number of days on the ventilator postoperatively compared to those with no PPB. Subsequent regression analysis revealed this association to not be influenced by recipient lung allocation score, donor age, donor smoking history, recipient mean pulmonary artery pressure value, and/or use of cardiopulmonary bypass at the time of transplantation. Neither 30‐day survival nor incidence of Grade 3 PGD and AKI at 24 or 72 hours post‐transplant differed between the two groups. The authors conclude that recovery of PPB in donor lung cultures was associated with a longer duration of mechanical ventilation postoperatively in lung transplant recipients.