Cystic fibrosis patients with and without central nervous system complications following lung transplantation

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2000 Sep;30(3):203-6. doi: 10.1002/1099-0496(200009)30:3<203::aid-ppul4>;2-5.


Central nervous system (CNS) complications occur more frequently in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients than other lung transplant recipients. The purpose of this study was to compare CF patients with and without CNS complications following lung transplantation, to identify risk factors for CNS events. Records of 21 patients with CF who underwent lung transplant between 1991-1996 were reviewed. Data were collected on multiple variables, including: age at transplant; gender; cytomegalovirus (CMV) status; cholesterol and triglyceride levels; sinusitis; percent ideal body weight (IBW); body mass index (BMI); augmented immunosuppression, acute lung rejection episodes (ALR); cyclosporine doses; electrolytes; magnesium, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and creatinine levels; and 6-month survival. CNS complications identified were seizures, severe headaches (HA), strokes, or confusional episodes. Eleven of 21 patients (52%) with CF had CNS events: eight had seizures, five HA, three strokes, and one confusional episode. There was no difference in age at transplant, pretransplant percent IBW or BMI, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, or number of ALR. CMV mismatch and clinical sinusitis had no effect. Cyclosporine doses did not differ between groups at 30 days, or 3 or 6 months posttransplant. Both BUN and creatinine concentrations showed a rise over time that did not differ between groups. Potassium levels were within normal limits for both groups. While sodium levels did not differ between groups pretransplant, or at 30 days or 6 months posttransplant, a decrease in sodium values was seen at the time of CNS events. There was no difference in 6-month survival. We could not identify any pre- or posttransplant risk factors that predicted CNS events. It is likely that cyclosporine toxicity is the major cause of CNS complications. Despite the high rate of CNS events, the overall prognosis was good, and 6-month survival was not affected.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Cyclosporine / adverse effects
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Lung Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cyclosporine