Prognosis factors in lung transplant recipients readmitted to the intensive care unit

A González-Castro, B Suberviola, J Llorca, C González-Mansilla, F Ortiz-Melón, E Miñambres
Transplantation Proceedings 2007, 39 (7): 2420-1

OBJECTIVE: To identify outcome predictors and prognostic factors for survival among lung transplant recipients on readmission to the intensive care unit (ICU).

METHODS: This was a retrospective study of all lung transplant recipients during a 10-year period from 1997 to 2006. Data collection included age, gender, reason, and type of lung transplantation. Variables specific to individual ICU admissions included admission diagnosis, length of stay, duration of mechanical ventilation, interval from transplantation, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score on ICU admission, and the identification of systemic organ dysfunction. We used Student t test (or where appropriate, its nonparametric equivalent) or the chi(2) test for comparisons among the patients who died and those who survived their ICU readmissions.

RESULTS: Among 144 lung transplant patients 28 were later readmitted to the ICU after at least 1 week. The admission diagnosis was sepsis in 20 cases (71.4%). Seventeen patients died during their ICU stay (60.7%). A higher APACHE II score (P = .008), the presence of three or more dysfunctional organs upon readmission (P = .016), and the need for mechanical ventilation (P = .022) were risk factors for mortality. The mortality risk was also higher among the group with a longer delay to ICU readmission (P = .003).

DISCUSSION: Readmission to the ICU, which is common among lung transplant recipients, was associated with a high mortality. Sepsis was the main cause of ICU readmission and the most frequent cause of death. APACHE II score, need for mechanical ventilation, number of dysfunctional organs, and delay in ICU readmission were important prognostic factors.

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