Goal: The goal of this study was to assess the efficacy of sirolimus in lung-transplant recipients.
Methods: The study was designed as a single center, consecutive case study of lung-transplant recipients treated with sirolimus, tacrolimus, and prednisone. All study subjects also received an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, and prophylaxis for cytomegalovirus and Pneumocystis carinii.
Results: A total of 15 subjects were enrolled in the study. Within 6 months, significant airway complications occurred in four subjects, three of whom died. At that point, the investigators terminated enrollment in the study. The study population was compared retrospectively with a group of 83 consecutive lung recipients treated with cyclosporine (n=64) or tacrolimus (n=19), mycophenolate mofetil, and prednisone. This confirmed an increased incidence of airway dehiscence and reduced survival in the sirolimus-treated patients. Sirolimus-treated patients had a low incidence of acute rejection. No significant differences were noted in the incidence of bacterial or fungal bronchopulmonary infections.
Conclusions: We observed an unexpectedly high incidence of postoperative airway dehiscence in lung-transplant recipients treated with sirolimus, in combination with tacrolimus, prednisone, and an HMG-CoA inhibitor. Further studies will be needed to determine the safety and efficacy of using sirolimus after complete airway healing has occurred.