The impact of pan-resistant bacterial pathogens on survival after lung transplantation in cystic fibrosis: results from a single large referral centre

J Hosp Infect. 2004 Apr;56(4):277-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2004.01.003.


Reported actuarial one-year survival for patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) after lung transplant is 55-91%. Infection is the most common cause of early death. Colonization with Burkholderia cepacia complex is associated with reduced survival and international lung transplant referral guidelines support individual unit assessment policies for patients colonized with other pan-resistant bacteria. We examined local data on survival after transplant for CF to determine the impact of colonization with pan-resistant bacteria. A retrospective review of all CF patients from Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH), Sydney, who underwent lung transplantation at St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, 1989-2002, was performed. Sixty-five patients were listed for lung transplantation with 54 (male: female=29:25) receiving transplants. Of the 11 patients (17%) who died on the waiting list, six were colonized with pan-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Thirty of the 54 transplanted patients had at least one pan-resistant organism before transplant. In 28 this included P. aeruginosa. Overall one-year survival was 92% with a median survival of 67 months. Overall survival for the pan-resistant group (N = 30) was not significantly different to survival in those with sensitive organisms (N = 24) (Logrank chi square = 1.6, P = 0.2). Three patients colonized with B. cepacia complex pre-transplant survive at 11, 40 and 60 months post-transplant. Infection contributed to 11 of the 18 post-transplant deaths, with pre-transplant-acquired bacterial pathogens responsible in two cases. Patients continued to acquire multiresistant bacteria post-transplantation. Lung transplant survival at St Vincent's Hospital for CF adults from RPAH compares favourably with international benchmarks. Importantly, colonization with pan-resistant bacteria pre-transplant did not appear to adversely affect survival post-transplant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bacterial Infections / complications
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology*
  • Burkholderia Infections / complications
  • Burkholderia cepacia complex
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology
  • Cystic Fibrosis / surgery*
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Pseudomonas Infections / complications
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis