Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurologic disorder with a prevalence between 2.5 and 15% in the general population. Among solid organ transplant recipients, RLS was found in 45% of patients after heart transplantation in a cross-sectional study. In a prospective study, RLS cases disappeared after kidney transplantation in a group of patients on hemodialysis. The goal of this study is to determine the prevalence, severity and risk factors of RLS in a population of lung transplant recipients.
This is a cross-sectional, observational study that recruited consecutive patients in the transplant clinic. For the diagnosis and severity assesment of RLS, we used previously validated questionnaires published by the international RLS study group (IRLSSG). Demographic data and possible risk factors were obtained from medical records.
RLS had a prevalence of 47.6% in 42 lung transplant recipients recruited. Among the RLS patients, 80% had a moderate to severe disorder based on the IRLSSG. The mean age in RLS patients (46.4 years ± 15.5) was similar to the mean age in patients without RLS (46.8 years ± 15.6) but there were more women in the RLS group (75%) compared to the non-RLS group (40.9%). Diabetes mellitus had a prevalence of 45.2% in the overall group but the frequency of diabetes did not reach statistical difference between the two groups (p>0.05). Chronic renal failure (defined as creatinine clearance < 50cc/hr), was found in 42.8% in the overall group but had similar distribution in the RLS and non-RLS groups (p>0.05).
RLS has a high prevalence in lung transplant recipients. Diabetes mellitus and chronic renal failure were frequent in lung transplant recipients but had similar distribution in the patients with or without RLS.
RLS is common and may have profound negative effects in the quality of life of transplant recipients causing insomnia, fatigue, reduced concentration, decreased motivation, depression and anxiety. Careful selection of therapy is necessary due to the potential interactions with the numerous medications taken by lung transplant recipients.
Jose Yataco, None.