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The Impact of Viral Respiratory Tract Infections on Long-Term Morbidity and Mortality following Lung Transplantation: A Retrospective Cohort Study Using a Multiplex PCR Panel.

Journal article
Authors Jesper Magnusson
Johan Westin
Lars-Magnus Andersson
Robin Brittain-Long
Gerdt C. Riise
Published in Transplantation
Volume 95
Issue 2
Pages 383–388
ISSN 1534-6080
Publication year 2013
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Pages 383–388
Language en
Keywords Lung transplant, Respiratory tract infection, Virus, PCR, Bronchiolitis obliterans
Subject categories Infectious Medicine


BACKGROUND: The major factor affecting morbidity and mortality after lung transplantation (LTX) is bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome. Earlier studies have suggested a connection between the presence of viral agents and morbidity in this patient group, but data are somewhat conflicting. The objective of this study was to investigate the development of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome and graft loss after LTX in relation to the presence of respiratory viruses during the first year after LTX. METHOD: The study is a retrospective cohort study of 39 LTX recipients 11-13 years after surgery. Patients were operated between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 2000 at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. The presence of virus in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluids from patients during the first year after surgery was analyzed retrospectively using a multiplex polymerase chain reaction test capable of detecting 15 respiratory agents. The time to BOS or graft loss was analyzed in relation to the positive findings in BAL during the first year after LTX. RESULTS: Patients with one or more viruses detected in BAL during the first year after transplantation demonstrated a significantly faster development of BOS (P=0.005) compared with patients with no virus detected. No significant difference in graft survival was found. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that the long-term prognosis after LTX may be negatively affected by viral respiratory tract infections during the first year after LTX.

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