Transient airway colonization is associated with airway inflammation after lung transplantation

Am J Transplant. 2007 May;7(5):1278-87. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2007.01771.x.


Lower airway tract colonization may trigger neutrophil-mediated airway inflammation. We investigated whether transient airway colonization influences airway inflammation and pulmonary function after lung transplantation (LTx). In this retrospective study, stable LTx patients with consecutive broncho-alveolar lavages (BAL), the first colonized and the second noncolonized, were included to create a Pooled group (P, n=32) and a Gram Negative (GN, n=14), Gram Positive (GP, n=9) and Fungi (F, n=9) subgroup. Similarly, LTx patients with consecutive, noncolonized BAL samples were included as Control group (C, n=19). BAL analysis (cell counts, IL6, IL8) and forced expiratory volume (FEV(1)) were compared between groups. In the P group and the GN subgroup, colonized BAL samples showed a significant increase in total cells, neutrophilia and IL8-concentration and a significant decrease in FEV(1), even when compared with the matched samples of the C group. A significant increase in neutrophilia was observed in the GP subgroup, but no other significant difference was found either in the GP and F subgroup or the C group. IL6 levels were not significantly different between groups. Transient airway colonization, especially with Pseudomonas-like GN bacteria, in stable LTx patients may be associated with IL8-dependent neutrophilic airway inflammation and a, albeit subtle, decrease in FEV(1).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / chemistry
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / microbiology
  • Cell Count
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / physiology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / analysis
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-8 / analysis
  • Interleukin-8 / metabolism
  • Lung Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Lung Transplantation / pathology
  • Lung Transplantation / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils / pathology
  • Pneumonia / metabolism
  • Pneumonia / microbiology*
  • Pneumonia / pathology
  • Pseudomonas Infections / etiology*
  • Pseudomonas Infections / metabolism
  • Pseudomonas Infections / pathology
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / pathogenicity
  • Respiratory System / microbiology*
  • Respiratory System / pathology
  • Respiratory System / physiopathology
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukin-8