Effect of positive perioperative donor and recipient respiratory bacterial cultures on early post-transplant outcomes in lung transplant recipients

Crystal K. Howell, Christopher A. Paciullo, G. Marshall Lyon, David Neujahr, Peter Lyu, George Cotsonis, Michael Hurtik

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Background: It is standard practice to administer prophylactic antibiotics post lung transplantation. However, no studies have evaluated the impact of culture positivity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate early post-transplant outcomes of culture-positive and culture-negative lung transplant (LT) recipients and the appropriateness of the empiric regimens used. Methods: Adult patients who received an LT at Emory University Hospital between January 1, 2010 and August 31, 2015 were reviewed and stratified into three groups: (i) culture-positive appropriate empiric treatment, (ii) culture-positive inappropriate empiric treatment, and (iii) culture-negative. Antibiotics were defined as appropriate if bacteria were sensitive to the empiric regimen. The primary endpoint was 30-day mortality. Secondary endpoints included hospital length of stay (LOS), intensive care unit (ICU) LOS, percent neutrophil count in a bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) sample, presence of airway ischemia, and appropriateness of the empiric antibiotic regimen. Results: Nine, zero, and four patients died within 30 days in the culture-positive appropriate (n = 113), culture-positive inappropriate (n = 5), and culture-negative groups (n = 29) (P =.564) respectively. The median hospital LOS was 19, 16, and 15 days respectively. Median ICU LOS was 6, 5, and 7 respectively. The respective percent neutrophil counts in the BAL fluid were 79, 83, and 65. The presence of airway ischemia was only documented in eight patients, all in the culture-positive appropriate group. Conclusion: We did not identify an association between antibiotic appropriateness and 30-day mortality, hospital LOS, or ICU LOS in post-LT recipients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12760
JournalTransplant Infectious Disease
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017



  • 30-day mortality
  • antibiotic appropriateness
  • antibiotics
  • culture
  • culture-positive infection
  • lung transplant
  • sensitivities
  • transplantation

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