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Clinical Investigations: LUNG TRANSPLANTATION |

Impact of Primary Graft Failure on Outcomes Following Lung Transplantation*

Jason D. Christie, MD, MS, FCCP; Jeffrey S. Sager, MD; Stephen E. Kimmel, MD, MS; Vivek N. Ahya, MD; Christina Gaughan, MS; Nancy P. Blumenthal, MSN, CRNP; Robert M. Kotloff, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

*From the Divisions of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (Drs. Christie, Sager, Ahya, and Kotloff, Ms. Gaughan, and Ms. Blumenthal) and Cardiovascular Medicine (Dr. Kimmel), Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA.

Correspondence to: Jason D. Christie, MD, MS, FCCP, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 423 Guardian Dr, 719 Blockley Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104; e-mail: jchristi@cceb.med.upenn.edu



Chest. 2005;127(1):161-165. doi:10.1378/chest.127.1.161
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Study objectives: Primary graft failure (PGF) is a severe acute lung injury syndrome that occurs following lung transplantation. We compared the clinical outcomes of patients who developed PGF with those who did not.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study including 255 consecutive lung transplant procedures. PGF was defined as (1) diffuse alveolar opacities developing within 72 h of transplantation, (2) an arterial partial pressure of oxygen/fraction of inspired oxygen (Pao2/Fio2) ratio of < 200 beyond 48 h postoperatively, and (3) no other secondary cause of graft dysfunction. PGF was tested for acceptance with 30-day and all-cause hospital mortality rates, overall survival, hospital length of stay (HLOS), duration of mechanical ventilation, and best 6-min walk test (6MWT) distance achieved within 12 months.

Setting: Academic medical center.

Results: The overall incidence of PGF was 11.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.9 to 15.9%). The all-cause mortality rate at 30 days was 63.3% in patients with PGF and 8.8% in patients without PGF (relative risk [RR], 7.15; 95% CI, 4.34 to 11.80%; p < 0.001). A total of 73.3% of patients with PGF died during hospitalization vs 14.2% of patients without PGF (RR, 5.18%; 95% CI, 3.51 to 7.63; p < 0.001). The median HLOS in 30-day survivors was 47 days in patients with PGF vs 15 days in those without PGF (p < 0.001), and the mean duration of mechanical ventilation was 15 days in patients with PGF vs 1 day in those without PGF (p < 0.001). By 12 months, a total of 28.5% of survivors with PGF achieved a normal age-appropriate 6MWT distance vs 71.4% of survivors without PGF at 12 months (p = 0.014). The median best 6MWT distance achieved within the first 12 months was 1,196 feet in patients with PGF vs 1,546 feet in those without PGF (p = 0.009).

Conclusions: PGF has a significant impact on mortality, HLOS, and duration of mechanical ventilation following lung transplantation. Survivors of PGF have a protracted recovery with impaired physical function up to 1 year following transplantation.

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