We report on two CF patients who received double lung transplantation (LTX) due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa related pulmonary destruction. Prior to LTX we detected P. aeruginosa in nasal lavages (NL) and sputum cultures from both patients. Donor lungs of patient 1 became colonized within four weeks with P. aeruginosa identical in genotype with isolates from his pre-transplant sputum cultures and pre- and post-transplant NL. In contrast, patient 2 remained P. aeruginosa free in lower airway samples (bronchial lavage/sputum) for now up to 30 months, despite persistent detection of P. aeruginosa that was identical in genotype with pre-transplant NL and sputum isolates in NL and even in throat swabs. For prevention of pulmonary re-colonization patient 2 has continuously inhaled Colomycin 1 MIU once daily during the preceding more than 36 months with the novel Pari Sinus™ nebulizer, which in scintigraphic studies was shown to deliver vibrating aerosols into paranasal sinuses, additional to bronchial antibiotic inhalation.
Discussion: Pulmonary colonization of transplanted donor lungs with identical clones previously colonizing the explanted lungs has been described previously and the upper airways were postulated as reservoir for descending colonization. However, this remained speculative, as upper airway sampling which does not belong to current standards, was not performed in these studies. Our report demonstrates persistence of identical P. aeruginosa genotypes in CF upper airways prior to and after LTX underlining risks of descending colonization of transplanted lungs with P. aeruginosa, which increases risks of graft dysfunction. Therefore, we recommend regular assessment of sinonasal colonization prior to and after LTX. Sinonasal inhalation with antimicrobials should be investigated in prospective trials.
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