Background: Successful lung transplantation for patients with pulmonary fibrosis from telomerase mutations may be limited by systemic complications of telomerase dysfunction, including myelosuppression, cirrhosis, and malignancy. We describe clinical outcomes in 14 lung transplant recipients with telomerase mutations.
Methods: Subjects underwent lung transplantation between February 2005 and April 2014 at 5 transplant centers. Data were abstracted from medical records, focusing on outcomes reflecting post-transplant treatment effects likely to be complicated by telomerase mutations.
Results: The median age of subjects was 60.5 years (interquartile range = 52.0-62.0), 64.3% were male, and the mean post-transplant observation time was 3.2 years (SD ± 2.9). A mutation in telomerase reverse transcriptase was present in 11 subjects, a telomerase RNA component mutation was present in 2 subjects, and an uncharacterized mutation was present in 1 subject. After lung transplantation, 10 subjects were leukopenic and 5 did not tolerate lymphocyte anti-proliferative agents. Six subjects developed recurrent lower respiratory tract infections, 7 developed acute cellular rejection (A1), and 4 developed chronic lung allograft dysfunction. Eight subjects developed at least 1 episode of acute renal failure and 10 developed chronic renal insufficiency. In addition, 3 subjects developed cancer. No subjects had cirrhosis. At data censorship, 13 subjects were alive.
Conclusions: The clinical course for lung transplant recipients with telomerase mutations is complicated by renal disease, leukopenia with intolerance of lymphocyte anti-proliferative agents, and recurrent lower respiratory tract infections. In contrast, cirrhosis was absent, acute cellular rejection was mild, and development of chronic lung allograft dysfunction was comparable to other lung transplant recipients. Although it poses challenges, lung transplantation may be feasible for patients with pulmonary fibrosis from telomerase mutations.
Keywords: lung transplantation; pulmonary fibrosis; telomerase mutations; telomere; telomere syndrome.
Copyright © 2015 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.