The findings of a recent study reveal that symptomatic respiratory virus infection is independently associated with the occurrence of chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD), a complication in lung transplant recipients. The researchers evaluated 250 adults who received a lung transplant at the University of Washington Medical Center between January 2007 and May 2012 to determine whether patients who develop respiratory virus infections were more likely to develop CLAD, according to Healio. The researchers adjusted for age, type of transplantation, acute rejection, and cytomegalovirus pneumonia.
A total of 50 patients were diagnosed with CLAD within a median duration of 95 weeks post-transplantation and 79 patients experienced 114 respiratory virus infections, with a median time of 19 weeks to first injection. Among patients who developed CLAD, 42% of patients had at least one respiratory virus infection versus 28% who did not develop CLAD.
The Healio news report indicates that patients with respiratory virus infections were at an increased risk of developing CLAD 3 months (HR = 4.77; 95% CI, 1.91-11.64), 6 months (HR = 3.37; 95% CI, 1.5-7.54) and 12 months (HR = 2.44; 95% CI, 1.2-4.96) after infection. A similar trend was also observed in the composite endpoint of CLAD and death. The risk was greatest at 3 months and gradually declined by 12 months.
The researchers concluded that the relationship between respiratory virus infection and CLAD warrants further research in a large, multicenter study. The researchers write, “If the association were confirmed in future prospective studies, at a minimum, it could identify specific patients at increased risk for development of [chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD)] who could then be entered into trials of preventative or treatment strategies.”