The Effectiveness of Culture-Directed Preemptive Anti-Aspergillus Treatment in Lung Transplant Recipients at One Year After Transplant
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BACKGROUND: Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) is a significant complication after lung transplantation. However, the risk factors for IPA in patients colonized with Aspergillus species, and the effectiveness of culture-directed preemptive treatment, are not well known. METHODS: We studied 328 lung transplant recipients, from January 2006 to July 2009, with 1-year follow-up. Risk factors and effectiveness of culture-directed preemptive treatment were evaluated via a Cox-proportional hazard model. RESULTS: Seventy-one recipients (21.6%) developed invasive fungal infections, including 29 patients (8.8%) with IPA. Only 48.3% (14/29) of patients with IPA had pretransplantation or posttransplantation airway colonization with Aspergillus spp. In the Cox-proportional hazard model, treatment with rabbit antithymocyte globulin was significantly associated with posttransplant IPA in patients with Aspergillus colonization (hazards ratio, 4.25; 95% confidence interval, 1.09-16.6). Preemptive antifungal treatment for 3 months was significantly associated with a lower rate of IPA (0% [0/36] vs 18% [14/77]; P = 0.003, odds ratio, 0.8; 95% confidence interval, 0.7-0.9) but did not impact mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that almost half the cases of IPA occurred in patients without pretransplantation or posttransplantation airway colonization with Aspergillus spp. Among patients with Aspergillus colonization, use of rabbit antithymocyte globulin was associated with 4-fold risk of subsequent development of IPA. Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis was an independent risk factor for 1-year mortality. Use of preemptive antifungal treatment for 3 months may be associated with significant reduction of IPA without influencing mortality.
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