Rationale: Elevated long pentraxin-3 (PTX3) levels are associated with the development of primary graft dysfunction (PGD) after lung transplantation. Abnormalities in innate immunity, mediated by PTX3 release, may play a role in PGD pathogenesis.
Objectives: Our goal was to test whether variants in the gene encoding PTX3 are risk factors for PGD.
Methods: We performed a candidate gene association study in recipients from the multicenter, prospective Lung Transplant Outcomes Group cohort enrolled between July 2002 and July 2009. The primary outcome was International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation grade 3 PGD within 72 hours of transplantation. Targeted genotyping of 10 haplotype-tagging PTX3 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was performed in lung transplant recipients. The association between PGD and each SNP was evaluated by logistic regression, adjusting for pretransplantation lung disease, cardiopulmonary bypass use, and population stratification. The association between SNPs and plasma PTX3 levels was tested across genotypes in a subset of recipients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Measurements and Main Results: Six hundred fifty-four lung transplant recipients were included. The incidence of PGD was 29%. Two linked 5′ region variants, rs2120243 and rs2305619, were associated with PGD (odds ratio, 1.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.1 to 1.9; P = 0.006 and odds ratio, 1.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.1 to 1.9; P = 0.007, respectively). The minor allele of rs2305619 was significantly associated with higher plasma PTX3 levels measured pretransplantation (P = 0.014) and at 24 hours (P = 0.047) after transplantation in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Conclusions: Genetic variants of PTX3 are associated with PGD after lung transplantation, and are associated with increased PTX3 plasma levels.
primary graft dysfunction; single-nucleotide polymorphism; long pentraxin 3; lung transplantation
Rationale: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is often initially misdiagnosed. Delays in accessing subspecialty care could lead to worse outcomes among those with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Objectives: To examine the association between delayed access to subspecialty care and survival time in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Methods: We performed a prospective cohort study of 129 adults who met American Thoracic Society criteria for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis evaluated at a tertiary care center. Delay was defined as the time from the onset of dyspnea to the date of initial evaluation at a tertiary care center. We used competing risk survival methods to examine survival time and time to transplantation.
Measurements and Main Results: The mean age was 63 years and 76% were men. The median delay was 2.2 years (interquartile range 1.0–3.8 yr), and the median follow-up time was 1.1 years. Age and lung function at the time of evaluation did not vary by delay. A longer delay was associated with an increased risk of death independent of age, sex, forced vital capacity, third-party payer, and educational attainment (adjusted hazard ratio per doubling of delay was 1.3, 95% confidence interval 1.03 to 1.6). Longer delay was not associated with a lower likelihood of undergoing lung transplantation.
Conclusions: Delayed access to a tertiary care center is associated with a higher mortality rate in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis independent of disease severity. Early referral to a specialty center should be considered for those with known or suspected interstitial lung disease.
access to healthcare; healthcare disparities; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; interstitial lung disease; survival
Rationale: Obesity has been linked to acute lung injury and is a risk factor for early mortality after lung transplantation.
Objectives: To examine the associations of obesity and plasma adipokines with the risk of primary graft dysfunction after lung transplantation.
Methods: We performed a prospective cohort study of 512 adult lung transplant recipients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or interstitial lung disease enrolled in the Lung Transplant Outcomes Group Study. In a nested case-control study, we measured plasma leptin, adiponectin, and resistin before lung transplantation and 6 and 24 hours after lung transplantation in 40 cases of primary graft dysfunction and 80 control subjects. Generalized linear mixed models and logistic regression were used to estimate risk ratios and odds ratios.
Measurements and Main Results: Grade 3 primary graft dysfunction developed within 72 hours of transplantation in 29% participants. Obesity was associated with a twofold increased risk of primary graft dysfunction (adjusted risk ratio 2.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.7–2.6). The risk of primary graft dysfunction increased by 40% (confidence interval, 30–50%) for each 5 kg/m2 increase in body mass index after accounting for center, diagnosis, cardiopulmonary bypass, and transplant procedure. Higher plasma leptin levels were associated with a greater risk of primary graft dysfunction (sex-adjusted P = 0.02). The associations of both obesity and leptin with primary graft dysfunction tended to be stronger among those who did not undergo cardiopulmonary bypass.
Conclusions: Obesity is an independent risk factor for primary graft dysfunction after lung transplantation.
acute lung injury; leptin; lung transplantation; obesity; primary graft dysfunction
Rationale: Sex hormones have effects on the left ventricle, but hormonal influences on the right ventricle (RV) are unknown.
Objectives: We hypothesized that sex hormones would be associated with RV morphology in a large cohort free of cardiovascular disease.
Methods: Sex hormones were measured by immunoassay and RV ejection fraction (RVEF), stroke volume (RVSV), mass, end-diastolic volume, and end-systolic volume (RVESV) were measured by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in 1,957 men and 1,738 postmenopausal women. The relationship between each hormone and RV parameter was assessed by multivariate linear regression.
Measurements and Main Results: Higher estradiol levels were associated with higher RVEF (β per 1 ln[nmol/L], 0.88; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.32 to 1.43; P = 0.002) and lower RVESV (β per 1 ln[nmol/L], −0.87; 95% CI, −1.67 to −0.08; P = 0.03) in women using hormone therapy. In men, higher bioavailable testosterone levels were associated with higher RVSV (β per 1 ln[nmol/L], 1.97; 95% CI, 0.20 to 3.73; P = 0.03) and greater RV mass and volumes (P ≤ 0.01). Higher dehydroepiandrosterone levels were associated with higher RVSV (β per 1 ln[nmol/L], 1.37; 95% CI, 0.15 to 2.59; P = 0.03) and greater RV mass (β per 1 ln[nmol/L], 0.25; 95% CI, 0.00 to 0.49; P = 0.05) and volumes (P ≤ 0.001) in women.
Conclusions: Higher estradiol levels were associated with better RV systolic function in women using hormone therapy. Higher levels of androgens were associated with greater RV mass and volumes in both sexes.
sex; sex hormones; right ventricle
Rationale: Intense exercise in elite athletes is associated with increased left ventricular (LV) and right ventricular (RV) mass and volumes. However, the effect of physical activity on the RV in an older community-based population is unknown.
Objectives: We studied the association between levels of physical activity in adults and RV mass and volumes.
Methods: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) performed cardiac magnetic resonance imaging on community-based participants without clinical cardiovascular disease. RV volumes were determined from manually contoured endocardial margins. RV mass was determined from the difference between epicardial and endocardial volumes multiplied by the specific gravity of myocardium. Metabolic equivalent–minutes/day were calculated from the self-reported frequency, duration, and intensity of physical activity.
Measurements and Main Results: The study sample (n = 1,867) was aged 61.8 ± 10 years, 48% male, 44% white, 27% African American, 20% Hispanic, and 9% Chinese. Higher levels of moderate and vigorous physical activity were linearly associated with higher RV mass (P = 0.02) after adjusting for demographics, anthropometrics, smoking, cholesterol, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and LV mass. Higher levels of intentional exercise (physical activity done for the sole purpose of conditioning or fitness) were nonlinearly associated with RV mass independent of LV mass (P = 0.03). There were similar associations between higher levels of physical activity and larger RV volumes.
Conclusions: Higher levels of physical activity in adults were associated with greater RV mass independent of the associations with LV mass; similar results were found for RV volumes. Exercise-associated RV remodeling may have important clinical implications.
exercise; pulmonary heart disease; pulmonary hypertension; magnetic resonance imaging
The Division of Lung Diseases of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, with the Office of Rare Diseases Research, held a workshop to identify priority areas and strategic goals to enhance and accelerate research that will result in improved understanding of the lung vasculature, translational research needs, and ultimately the care of patients with pulmonary vascular diseases. Multidisciplinary experts with diverse experience in laboratory, translational, and clinical studies identified seven priority areas and discussed limitations in our current knowledge, technologies, and approaches. The focus for future research efforts include the following: (1) better characterizing vascular genotype–phenotype relationships and incorporating systems biology approaches when appropriate; (2) advancing our understanding of pulmonary vascular metabolic regulatory signaling in health and disease; (3) expanding our knowledge of the biologic relationships between the lung circulation and circulating elements, systemic vascular function, and right heart function and disease; (4) improving translational research for identifying disease-modifying therapies for the pulmonary hypertensive diseases; (5) establishing an appropriate and effective platform for advancing translational findings into clinical studies testing; and (6) developing the specific technologies and tools that will be enabling for these goals, such as question-guided imaging techniques and lung vascular investigator training programs. Recommendations from this workshop will be used within the Lung Vascular Biology and Disease Extramural Research Program for planning and strategic implementation purposes.
right ventricle; pulmonary hypertension; metabolism; genomics; phenotyping
Rationale: The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) is an important marker of lung epithelial injury and may be associated with impaired alveolar fluid clearance. We hypothesized that patients with primary graft dysfunction (PGD) after lung transplantation would have higher RAGE levels in plasma than patients without PGD.
Objectives: To test the association of soluble RAGE (sRAGE) levels with PGD in a prospective, multicenter cohort study.
Methods: We measured plasma levels of sRAGE at 6 and 24 hours after allograft reperfusion in 317 lung transplant recipients at seven centers. The primary outcome was grade 3 PGD (PaO2/FiO2 < 200 with alveolar infiltrates) within the first 72 hours after transplantation.
Measurements and Main Results: Patients who developed PGD had higher levels of sRAGE than patients without PGD at both 6 hours (median 9.3 ng/ml vs. 7.5 ng/ml, respectively; P = 0.028) and at 24 hours post-transplantation (median 4.3 ng/ml vs. 1.9 ng/ml, respectively; P < 0.001). Multivariable logistic regression analyses indicated that the relationship between levels of sRAGE and PGD was attenuated by elevated right heart pressures and by the use of cardiopulmonary bypass. Median sRAGE levels were higher in subjects with cardiopulmonary bypass at both 6 hours (P = 0.003) and 24 hours (P < 0.001). sRAGE levels at 6 hours were significantly associated with intraoperative red cell transfusion (Spearman's ρ = 0.39, P = 0.002 in those with PGD), and in multivariable linear regression analyses this association was independent of confounding variables (P = 0.02).
Conclusions: Elevated plasma levels of sRAGE are associated with PGD after lung transplantation. Furthermore, plasma sRAGE levels are associated with blood product transfusion and use of cardiopulmonary bypass.
primary graft dysfunction; reperfusion injury; lung transplantation; receptor for advanced glycation end products; acute lung injury
Rationale: Cigarette smoking is a risk factor for diffuse parenchymal lung disease. Risk factors for subclinical parenchymal lung disease have not been described.
Objectives: To determine if cigarette smoking is associated with subclinical parenchymal lung disease, as measured by spirometric restriction and regions of high attenuation on computed tomography (CT) imaging.
Methods: We examined 2,563 adults without airflow obstruction or clinical cardiovascular disease in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, a population-based cohort sampled from six communities in the United States. Cumulative and current cigarette smoking were assessed by pack-years and urine cotinine, respectively. Spirometric restriction was defined as a forced vital capacity less than the lower limit of normal. High attenuation areas on the lung fields of cardiac CT scans were defined as regions having an attenuation between −600 and −250 Hounsfield units, reflecting ground-glass and reticular abnormalities. Generalized additive models were used to adjust for age, gender, race/ethnicity, smoking status, anthropometrics, center, and CT scan parameters.
Measurements and Main Results: The prevalence of spirometric restriction was 10.0% (95% confidence interval [CI], 8.9–11.2%) and increased relatively by 8% (95% CI, 3–12%) for each 10 cigarette pack-years in multivariate analysis. The median volume of high attenuation areas was 119 cm3 (interquartile range, 100–143 cm3). The volume of high attenuation areas increased by 1.6 cm3 (95% CI, 0.9–2.4 cm3) for each 10 cigarette pack-years in multivariate analysis.
Conclusions: Smoking may cause subclinical parenchymal lung disease detectable by spirometry and CT imaging, even among a generally healthy cohort.
cigarette smoking; computed tomography; interstitial lung disease; restrictive lung disease; spirometry
Rationale: Portopulmonary hypertension (PPHTN) occurs in 6% of liver transplant candidates. The pathogenesis of this complication of portal hypertension is poorly understood.
Objectives: To identify genetic risk factors for PPHTN in patients with advanced liver disease.
Methods: We performed a multicenter case-control study of patients with portal hypertension. Cases had a mean pulmonary artery pressure >25 mm Hg, pulmonary vascular resistance >240 dynes·s−1·cm−5, and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure ≤15 mm Hg. Controls had a right ventricular systolic pressure < 40 mm Hg (if estimated) and normal right-sided cardiac morphology by transthoracic echocardiography. We genotyped 1,079 common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 93 candidate genes in each patient.
Measurements and Main Results: The study sample included 31 cases and 104 controls. Twenty-nine SNPs in 15 candidate genes were associated with the risk of PPHTN (P < 0.05). Multiple SNPs in the genes coding for estrogen receptor 1, aromatase, phosphodiesterase 5, angiopoietin 1, and calcium binding protein A4 were associated with the risk of PPHTN. The biological relevance of one of the aromatase SNPs was supported by an association with plasma estradiol levels.
Conclusions: Genetic variation in estrogen signaling and cell growth regulators is associated with the risk of PPHTN. These biologic pathways may elucidate the mechanism for the development of PPHTN in certain patients with severe liver disease.
genetic polymorphism; portal hypertension; hypertension, pulmonary
Rationale: Blacks with chronic illness have poorer outcomes than whites in the United States. The health outcomes of minorities with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on the lung transplant waiting list have not been studied.
Objectives: To compare outcomes of black and white patients with COPD after listing for lung transplantation in the United States.
Methods: Retrospective cohort study of all 280 non-Hispanic black and 5,272 non-Hispanic white adults 40 years and older with COPD listed for lung transplantation in the United States between 1995 and 2004.
Measurements and Main Results: Blacks with COPD were more likely to have pulmonary hypertension, obesity, and diabetes; to lack private health insurance; and to live in poorer neighborhoods than whites. Blacks were less likely to undergo transplantation after listing compared with whites, despite adjustment for age, lung function, pulmonary hypertension, cardiovascular risk factors, insurance coverage, and poverty level (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval, 0.70–0.98; P = 0.03). This was accompanied by a greater risk of dying or being removed from the list among blacks (unadjusted hazard ratio, 1.31; 95% confidence interval, 1.05–1.63; P = 0.02).
Conclusions: After listing for lung transplantation, black patients with COPD were less likely to undergo transplantation and more likely to die or be removed from the list compared with white patients. Unequal access to care may have contributed to these differences.
racial disparities; lung transplantation; survival; competing risks; black or African American
Background: Acute lung injury is characterized by hypercoagulability and impaired fibrinolysis. We hypothesized that lower protein C and higher type 1 plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) levels in plasma would be associated with primary graft dysfunction (PGD) after lung transplantation.
Design: Prospective, multicenter cohort study.
Methods: We measured plasma levels of protein C and PAI-1 before lung transplantation and 6, 24, 48, and 72 h after allograft reperfusion in 128 lung transplant recipients at six centers. The primary outcome was grade 3 PGD (PaO2/FiO2 < 200 with alveolar infiltrates) 72 h after transplantation. Biomarker profiles were evaluated using logistic regression and generalized estimating equations.
Results: Patients who developed PGD had lower protein C levels 24 h posttransplantation than did patients without PGD (mean ± SD [relative to control]: 64 ± 27 vs. 92 ± 41%, respectively; p = 0.002). Patients with PGD also had PAI-1 levels that were almost double those of patients without PGD at 24 h (213 ± 144 vs. 117 ± 89 ng/ml, respectively; p < 0.001). Throughout the 72-h postoperative period, protein C levels were significantly lower (p = 0.007) and PAI-1 levels were higher (p = 0.026) in subjects with PGD than in others. These differences persisted despite adjustment for potential confounders in multivariate analyses. Higher recipient pulmonary artery pressures, measured immediately pretransplantation, were associated with higher PAI-1 levels and increased risk of PGD.
Conclusion: Lower postoperative protein C and higher PAI-1 plasma levels are associated with PGD after lung transplantation. Impaired fibrinolysis and enhanced coagulation may be important in PGD pathogenesis.
primary graft dysfunction; reperfusion injury; lung transplantation; type 1 plasminogen activator inhibitor; protein C
Rationale: Functional studies may be useful to predict survival in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Various cutoffs of 6-min-walk distance (6MWD) have been suggested to identify patients at a high risk of death.
Objectives: To examine the association between 6MWD and survival in patients with IPF listed for lung transplantation, and to identify sensitive and specific cutoffs for predicting death at 6 mo.
Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of 454 patients classified as having IPF listed for lung transplantation with the United Network for Organ Sharing between June 30, 2004 and July 22, 2005.
Measurements and Main Results: Lower 6MWD was associated with an increased mortality rate (p value for linear trend < 0.0001). Patients with a walk distance less than 207 m had a more than fourfold greater mortality rate than those with a walk distance of 207 m or more, despite adjustment for demographics, anthropomorphics, FVC % predicted, pulmonary hypertension, and medical comorbidities (adjusted rate ratio, 4.7; 95% confidence interval, 2.5–8.9; p < 0.0001). 6MWD was a significantly better predictor of 6-mo mortality than was FVC % predicted (c-statistic = 0.73 vs. 0.59, respectively; p = 0.02).
Conclusions: Lower 6MWD was strongly and independently associated with an increased mortality rate for wait-listed patients classified as having IPF. 6MWD was a better predictor of death at 6 mo than was FVC % predicted.
cohort; exercise test; lung diseases, interstitial; lung transplantation
Rationale: The determinants of immunoglobulin G (IgG) level and the risk of hypogammaglobulinemia (HGG) in patients with severe lung disease before and after lung transplantation are unknown.
Objectives: We aimed to identify predictors of low IgG levels before and after lung transplantation.
Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of 40 consecutive lung transplant recipients at our center. Total IgG levels were measured before and serially after transplantation. Mild HGG was defined as IgG levels from 400–699 mg/dl; severe HGG was defined as IgG levels < 400 mg/dl.
Measurements and Main Results: Before transplantation, six (15%) patients had mild HGG, and none had severe HGG. Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease had lower IgG levels compared with patients with other diseases (independent of corticosteroid use and age; p = 0.001) and an increased risk of mild HGG (p = 0.005). The cumulative incidences of mild and severe HGG significantly increased after transplantation (58 and 15%, respectively, both p < 0.04 compared with pretransplant prevalences). Lower pretransplant IgG level and treatment with mycophenolate mofetil were associated with lower IgG levels after transplantation (both p < 0.05). Only lower pretransplant IgG levels were significantly associated with an increased risk of severe HGG after transplantation (p = 0.02).
Conclusions: Mild HGG is common in patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and the incidences of mild and severe HGG increase significantly early after lung transplantation. Baseline IgG levels and treatment with mycophenolate mofetil affect post-transplant IgG levels.
hypogammaglobulinemia; immunosuppression; infection; lung transplantation