Primary graft dysfunction: Long-term physical function outcomes among lung transplant recipients

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Adults with primary graft dysfunction (PGD) after lung transplantation are at increased risk for pulmonary and functional impairment. No prior studies have described the long-term (within 1.5 years of transplant) cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) results in adults with grade 3 PGD. The objective of this study was to compare the functional outcomes of lung transplant patients with and without grade 3 PGD via CPET and six-minute talk tests (6MWD).


243 adults underwent lung transplantation between 2003 and 2010, 128 (53%) of whom underwent CPET and 6MWD within 12–18 months of transplantation. The primary measure of exposure was grade 3 PGD at 72 h, however grade 3 PGD within 72 h was also assessed. In addition, the impact of potential confounding variables was explored.


Approximately one-third (32%) of the 243 patients experienced grade 3 PGD within 72 h; among these, 15 (6%) had grade 3 PGD at the 72 h time point. There were no differences in CPET or 6MWD between those with and without grade 3 PGD at 72 h despite a longer length of hospital stay and lower pulmonary function. Similar results were seen for patients with and without grade 3 PGD within 72 h, with the exception of a lower heart rate on CPET.


Participants with grade 3 PGD are able to achieve functional outcomes comparable to those without PGD.

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