Plasma C-reactive protein levels correlate with markers of airway inflammation after lung transplantation: a role for systemic inflammation in bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome?

Transplant Proc. 2009 Mar;41(2):595-8. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2008.12.024.


Objective: Plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration has been associated with allograft dysfunction in cardiac and renal transplantation; data in lung transplantation (LTx), however, are lacking. We hypothesized that in Ltx, systemic inflammation may be associated with airway inflammation, which has an important role in the development of chronic allograft dysfunction or bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome after LTx.

Methods: In this retrospective, longitudinal, cohort study, plasma CRP concentration, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) inflammatory markers (interleukin [IL]-6 and IL-8 protein levels and cell differentials), and pulmonary function (forced expiratory volume in 1 second) were evaluated in 100 LTx recipients at discharge and at 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-up. The Spearman rank test was used to determine a possible relationship between these parameters at each routine follow-up visit.

Results: Plasma CRP concentration positively correlated with BAL total cell count and neutrophilia, whereas there was a negative correlation with pulmonary function at discharge and at 3 and 6 months after LTx. A correlation between plasma CRP concentration and BAL interleukin levels was present at discharge (IL-6 and IL-8) and at 6 months (IL-8) after LTx.

Conclusion: Systemic inflammation and IL-8-mediated neutrophilic airway inflammation seem to be associated after LTx. Therefore, systemic inflammation has a possible role in the development of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome after LTx.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Bronchiolitis Obliterans / diagnosis*
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Heart-Lung Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / diagnosis*
  • Lung Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection
  • Postoperative Complications / blood
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Biomarkers
  • C-Reactive Protein