Background: Pre-operative infection with organisms from the Burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC), particularly B cenocepacia, has been linked with a poorer prognosis after transplantation compared to patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) without this infection. Therefore, many transplant centers do not list these patients for transplantation.
Methods: We report the early and long-term results of a cohort of lung transplant recipients with CF and pre-operative BCC infection. Patients with pre-transplantation BCC infection were identified by case-note review. BCC species status was assigned by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based techniques. Survival rates were compared to recipients with CF without BCC infection. Survival rates in BCC subgroups were also compared, and then further analyzed pre- and post-2001, when a new immunosuppressive and antibiotic regime was introduced for such patients.
Results: Two hundred sixteen patients with CF underwent lung transplantation and 22 had confirmed pre-operative BCC infection, with 12 of these being B cenocepacia. Nine B cenocepacia-infected recipients died within the first year, and in 8 BCC sepsis was considered to be the cause of death. Despite instituting a tailored peri-operative immunosuppressive and microbiologic care approach for such patients, post-transplantation BCC septic deaths occurred frequently in those with pre-transplantation B cenocepacia infection. In contrast, recipients infected with other BCC species had significantly better outcomes, with post-transplantation survival comparable to other recipients with CF.
Conclusions: Mortality in patients with B cenocepacia infection was unacceptably high and has led to our center no longer accepting patients with this condition onto the lung transplant waiting list. Long-term survival in the non-B cenocepacia BCC group was excellent, without high rates of acute rejection or bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) longer term, and these patients continue to be considered for lung transplantation.
Copyright © 2010 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.